Sometimes we start work on a story or a narrative and get stuck along the way.
What to do if the old writer’s block steps in?
Well, I have always been a lover of options. So, if you come to a full stop in your story, ask those crucial two words: what if?
What if she went to Paris to follow the love of her life?
What if the dog bit her leg and she has to go to hospital?
What if her boyfriend’s father touched her up?
What if she lost her job because she’s late?
What if she becomes ill and thinks she is dying?
It doesn’t have to be so dramatic, but this gives you the gist.
Try the ‘Sliding Doors‘ approach. The story goes: A London woman’s love life and career both hinge, unknown to her, on whether or not she catches a train. We see it both ways, in parallel.
IMDB puts it like this:
When Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow), a London ad executive, is fired from her job and rushes out to catch a train, two scenarios take place. In one, she gets on the train and comes home to find her boyfriend, Gerry (John Lynch), in bed with another woman. In the second, she misses the train and arrives after the woman has left. In the first scenario, Helen dumps Gerry, finds a new man and gradually improves her life. In the second, she becomes suspicious of Gerry’s fidelity and grows miserable.
Give it a go with your story. Think of different options for ‘what next’ and see what transpires.