While working on my current WIP, before I could plunge my protagonist into troubled shark infested water, I ended up putting myself in it. I had chosen a theme that was unusual and different. Creating a world class mischief maker is not a joke. I never play pranks and to be honest, I have no connection with pranksters.
I seldom discuss my books with anyone, especially while writing the first draft. So I found myself in a self dug hole. I badly needed guidance. When I told my nephew few pranks to check out their potency, he said “you have read so many Roald Dahl books, you should be able to do justice to your book. Think like him.” I had introduced him to Dahl when he was eight.
At that moment things slid into place. I decided why not. I could summon Dahl, and pretend that he was writing my book whenever I got stuck. What prank would Dahl pull in this scene, how would he tackle that situation, what devious idea would he come up with. Everytime I got stuck, I pleaded with Mr Dahl to help me out.
After that it was easy, I breezed through portions I had earlier found difficult and troublesome. Hopefully my editor too finds them nice. My fingers are crossed.
I think this advice would work well for all of us. I chose the author who wrote middle grade fiction ( the genre I write). I am sure we all have our favourites in the genres we write, and I am sure we are familiar with their style and technique. So why not get into their skin when we find ourselves in tight spots, or at dead ends. It’s not like we are copying them. It’s just a way to work out those tangled knots and if and when we choose we can rewrite later.
The best thing about this idea was that I could see the book from my favourite writer’s perspective. Having read all Dahl’s books twice, I was pretty familiar with his humor and style. It was easy to get into his skin, and invite him into my life to help me tide over those treacherous and troublesome paths. Though the writing style is mine, the thoughts are mine, the ideas are mine, but just by trying to think like him helped me whenever I tied myself in tight knots. It was like he was guiding me towards the direction I must take or untying the knots for me.
How do you all tackle those tricky spots that come up while you are writing? Whom do you turn to? Is there something that helps you bypass those roadblocks? Is there someone who helps you navigate those tricky bends? Please share, we all badly need to learn those tips.
P.S. I will not be posting on Friday 5th November as its Diwali (our Festival of Lights). I will see you all next Tuesday.
A Must Read for all Writers is a post Inspirations, which I read at Adventures in Agentland .