META: Writer's Block and Crazy-Ass Ideas

EDMLite robrogers72 at
Tue Jul 1 18:12:51 PDT 2008

On Jul 1, 5:04 pm, Tom Russell <milos_par... at> wrote:

> Anyone else want to share their thoughts on writer's block, crazy-ass
> ideas, and inspiration?

I know what you mean about the search for "crazy-ass"
ideas.  My solution, so far, is to write the story
down, in whatever boring form it comes to me, print
it out, and then go through the story as if I was
going to pencil it, imagining all of the visual
possibilities.  "Having the butler be the killer
makes sense... but having a MONKEY butler be the
killer makes for good nonsense."

My writers' block came in terms of writing about
heroes.  I'm a believer in the idea that the
characters should drive the story.  Things
shouldn't just happen to them; the choices they
make should lead to the situations in which
they find themselves.  And yet super-heroes
aren't particularly dynamic characters.  If
Commissioner Gordon doesn't turn on the
Bat-Signal, Bruce Wayne just sits around the
cave adding applications to his Facebook page.

Or does he?  I had a chance to talk with
Matt Wagner when WonderCon was in town, and
here's what he said: "Most super-heroes have
something they would rather be doing.  Batman
doesn't want to be Batman.  If you can show
what they actually want to be doing, it makes
the characters more interesting" -- and their
decision to abandon those goals for the good of
others more poignant.

And that's been a big help to me -- if there's
one thing writers tend to be good at, it's
imagining things they would rather be doing.

--Easily-Discovered Man Lite
--Would rather be taking on Angelina Jolie in a

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