How to solve plot problems with a simple technique

In this article, you’ll learn a simple, yet powerful technique to solve all of your plot problems. If you’ve come here from Wattpad, you probably just want the Solving Plot Problems Template that you can use for your own plot problem today.

Especially in science fiction and fantasy, or in any longer story with a large number of elements or characters to keep track of, there are the inevitable plot problems that can really stump you.

plot problems

Writer’s Block by Jonno Witts on Flickr

I’m sure you’ve experienced it…. “If Character X does this, then that will affect Character Y in this way, which doesn’t work because people in World Z don’t do that kind of thing. But if Character X doesn’t do that, then how does she do it?”

In my own experience, these plot problems can be so severe and frustrating that I can give up working on my novel for weeks at a time, waiting for the answers to “hit” me like a bolt of magical inspiration lightening. Sometimes they did hit me — sometimes in the strangest places, like in the shower, or driving my car, or just after waking up. But often they didn’t hit me and I was left with plot problems that felt like I’d never be able to solve. EVER.

This can lead to an incredibly defeating bout of the dreaded WRITERS BLOCK! 

Then I discovered this technique, which I’m about to show you. And now, whenever I run into a plot problem, I use it, and it ALWAYS works. I’m not lying. 100% of the time, it works.

This simple technique will take you less than 30 minutes to learn how to use for your own story.

At the Surrey International Writer’s Conference this last fall, I took a course with Larry Brooks. He talked about how writers suffer from magical thinking; that the writing we do is often so difficult that we believe it is imbued with magical qualities. What he stressed over and over was that most of the time, the first solution we come up with is NOT the best one. It might be okay. It might even ‘work,’ but it might not be the BEST POSSIBLE SOLUTION. So how do you find that solution? Read on!

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How the Inner Critic and Creative Anxiety Cause Writer’s Block

Writing blocks and the inner critic

In my writing group we shared our experiences with the inner critic and how it blocks our writing and creativity. In preparation for the meeting, I researched about this topic and found some books on this topic by Eric Maisel. In this essay I will present what Eric Maisel calls ‘creative anxiety and some methods for overcoming it that you might find helpful.

In the book Toxic Criticism, Maisel talks about the inner critic in Chapter 4, called ‘Silencing Self-Criticism’. He believes that the inner critic is formed when we internalize criticism from outside. He calls that the “moment of  translation”, which is the moment between the external message (or situation or experience) to the internal reaction. His main point in this section of the book is that it is our choice to go from an unfortunate external situation/fact to an internal toxic criticism. He gives three main reasons why we might do this, even thought it’s harmful to us and our creative practice: Continue reading