On Writing What You Know

beardeddragonMy main work-in-progress this year is a story of two best friends, separated by changes in government structure and rule.

It was inspired by the Bioshock game series, some details brought up by the Brexit vote, and a brain-storming session I attended at a convention a couple of years back.

I’m excited to be trying a new method of drafting (still looking for a method which works for me without the stress of NaNoWriMo), and I love this story premise, and my main character.

The Block

The inciting incident, where my characters are separated and the real tale begins comes following a new decisions at the hands of those ruling the city.

However, I’ve been struggling to write, or even plan the next few scenes. One reason relates to the current political climate. I hear real-life news stories which would be written off as unrealistic in a book. They make anything I write seem unnatural, or if I keep the choices in my story vague, I find myself not knowing the full impact of choices or how they affect my characters, and so I’m blocked.

Breaking Through

Each writer will find a way that works for them, but I’ve switched my focus in two ways:

  • Describing the setting in more detail allows that depth of exploration, where I might notice nuances or new ideas.
  • I’m also engaging in twitter tags to better understand my main character; hoping that once I know the impact of the key choices, I can always go back in the edit and insert the political reason for any change.

It’s not ideal, but in the first draft, the most important thing (for me, at least) is to keep writing. Sometimes we need to work around the block of reality, and leave ourselves some notes to fix things later.

I sometimes wonder if this is how the real Governments are currently making decisions, too!

How do you work around the block of real life in writing?

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