Screenwriting : Today's Wish and Creative Tip by Laurie Ashbourne

Laurie Ashbourne

Today's Wish and Creative Tip

An Experiment I've been asked to write (elsewhere) about THE WRITER EMERGENCY PACK created by John August. So today, (and maybe the next few days) we're going to try something different. The 'pack' is a deck of cards, similar to cards against humanity, it's meant to get your creative juices flowing and help if you are stuck on a story point. The photo here is the EMERGENCY instruction. There are 26 solution cards. So, what I want you to do is step #1, you can either post what your story problem is and pick a number between 1-26 OR just pick a number between 1-26. If you post your problem I will try to steer how the solution # you pick can help. Otherwise, I'll just give you details of the number you pick and you can decipher.

Andy Silverman

My battle scene is not quite there yet. It needs a more satisfying resolution. Hit me with a card, Ms. EMT.

Laurie Ashbourne

Lose the Cavalry (Seems you got lucky for a battle scene) Take away the allies and support. Leave your hero to fend for her/himself. The detail is, if your hero can easily call for help the stakes aren't high enough. OR set up the expectation that help is on the way, but then prevent it from getting there. Force the hero to figure it out for herself. 3 ways to work on it: List 3 ways they could get help in this situation then list ways to prevent it Maybe the hero IS the cavalry -- how could she fail to aid an ally? What are the consequences? Go ahead and send the cavalry -- but at a cost. Perhaps the rescuers and worse than the enemies currently faced. Let me know if it helped!!!

Boomer Murrhee

How about 17?

Laurie Ashbourne

17 is Magnify Up close everything looks different. Zoom in to focus on a moment a detail or emotion. The detail is: When you look closely at a moment or idea you discover truths and textures that might otherwise go unnoticed. Your hero may be holding the metaphorical magnifying glass OR be the one being examined with each little action being percieved differently than intended. Either way what is seen is distorted. 3 ways to work it: What is your hero feeling right now? What are some tiny actions that might reveal it? Extend the moment. What if a given event took a day rather than a minute? Or a week or month? Imagine your hero is incredibly nearsighted. How would your story change if she could only see things an inch from her nose.

Ninon Schubert

What about 14?

Laurie Ashbourne

14 is Travel A change of scenery can do wonders. Take your hero somewhere new. The detail is: When your hero hits the road her normal routines don't apply. She's interacting with new environments and new characters -- out of her comfort zone and that's almost always a good thing. A new setting also allows you to play with your world via weather, clothes, language and cultures. A new setting should bring new challenges, your character is the same person but without the usual routines. 4 ways to work it: List 3 reasons they might need to leave town now Brainstorm 4 settings that would be challenging to navigate if your hero could call home, who would she call? What would she say? In the past, did your hero travel someplace particularly important to him? Is there reason to go back? Don't forget to let me know if it helped!

Anthony Cawood

I bought a pack when they came out too, really nice idea and really well executed.

Sam Caton

Interesting. Never heard of this before.

Laurie Ashbourne

Anthony, do you use them much? Have they helped?

Anthony Cawood

A couple of times but I tend not to get stuck too often (fortunately) but I just loved the idea behind them and I'm a massive John August fan... so kinda had to buy a set ;-)

Ninon Schubert

That's actually a very helpful way of thinking about things from different angles - when you've been working on something for a while and can't see the wood for trees any more.

John Michael German

Dear Laurie Ashbourne: I think this type of thing can be helpful even in normal writing situations. I was writing down scenes where it took a character to new areas and instantly thought of this thread. Just like the elements of style book, where one review specified the little book should be on writers at all times, I think this would be tremendously beneficial to have around - even in non emergency writing situations as a refresher. Sincerely, John German

Laurie Ashbourne

Absolutely, John -- there are other instructions that come with the decks and a card game as well. Jim, I will have a discount code and giveaway next week.

Laurie Ashbourne

Oliver - #24 is That's Not a Dragon What you thought was the enemy is not. The real danger lies ahead. The detail is: The best villains often hide behind henchmen and facades. Your hero might believe she defeated the enemy only to discover he's stronger than ever or perhaps, like The Wizard of Oz, there's a man pulling levers behind the curtains. Look for reversals, can the supposed enemy be turned into an ally? Even fake dragons have teeth -- let this bite count. 3 Ways to work it: Bait the trap - list 3 things that could lure your hero to danger Picture the puppet master -- who would pull the strings, what does he gain by being hidden? How would your hero discover him? Heroes can have puppets too. Brainstorm deceptions your hero could use to confuse the enemy

Debbie Croysdale

Laurie I always read your threads, because I enjoy your maverick ideas on protagonist/ antagonist relationships. The gem I will take away today is "Heroes can have puppets too." I'm too busy to enter the 24 card solution group, but it's great you are willing to offer advice to people posting in. Good Weekend All.

Laurie Ashbourne

Everyone who commented on this post is automatically entered for a free deck (drawing 11/20) but if you can't wait, details for 10% off a deck can be found here: http://1st10pages.com/2015/11/10/helping-writers-get-unstuck-discounts-a...

Fiona Faith Ross

Well, I'd like a pack, but I'll have a shot at winning the draw before I buy it.

John Michael German

Dear Laurie Ashbourne: If I would happen to be drawn as a winner, I wish for you to pick an individual to receive the deck in my place. Sincerely, John German

Laurie Ashbourne

Congratulations, Debbie Croysdale! You won the random drawing for a free writer's emergency pack. DM me your mailing information and it will go out this week!

Laurie Ashbourne

If anyone else is still interested in a deck the 10% discount is good through the end of the year.

Fiona Faith Ross

Congrats, Debbie!

Fiona Faith Ross

Is there a code to claim the 10% discount, Laurie? I can't see anything in the online store.

Laurie Ashbourne

The code for the 10% discount is: 1ST10PAGES

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