I've been having a tough time plotting these past couple of weeks, and it brings to mind how helpful it is to sometimes simply have someone sit down with us and ask all the "what ifs". Even if the particular question doesn't quite fit our story, it's amazing how this sometimes jars our imagination to the point where we have our A-HAH! moment and can continue on.
Sometimes it feels like no one's about when we need them, though. So I thought I'd offer a brainstorm session in the comment box below this post. (We've done Public Brainstorms a couple of times in the past, where I accepted entries and posted each one separately. I thought I'd try a simpler approach this time to see how it goes.)
Are you plotting/story planning/drafting? Are you feeling stuck/confused/discouraged? Ask your question in the comment box below! I will copy it here (in the body of this post) so people can see it easily, and then they'll be able to comment beneath your comment to perhaps offer the question you most needed.
Want to try?
It might look like this:
My protagonist and her boyfriend have arrived at her house late at night, and this is a turning point where something awful has happened and it looks like her boyfriend is responsible, but I can't think of what that awful thing should be.
My hero needs to go to the Plains of Despair, because there is a magical item there that is important for his quest. However, I can't come up with a believable motivation for him to go there, other than I just need him to. Can you throw me some motivation questions?
Now, those may seem sort of vague, but trust me (and I'm sure you already know this)--you never know what will spark you. It's like a bottle of Drano poured down a hair-clogged pipe!
THIS IS IMPORTANT: As folks leave their ideas, don't come back and tell them why their ideas won't work--unless it is posed as a question! For instance, if someone says, "What if she finds the bloody razor after the donkey relay? Would that throw off your time line?" In this instance, it's fine to answer yes or no, and engage in dialogue. But please don't be a Negative Nellie and punch down other people's brainstorms. Read, absorb, let your brain start quietly ticking.
Post your stuck-place in the comments below. Then share the link to this post and wait for help to arrive!