Nano Eleven – Ideas

largeDespite what others think, nano is the time where you can try new and exciting things in a manuscript. The time where you can step out of your comfort zone and write a romance scene in the middle of a western involving robot zombies. A time where a space opera involves fairy tale tropes and hardcore erotica. The blending and cross-contamination between genres makes things easier to design ideas within the script.

The most common problem during this time is when real-life starts slowing down the writing process because the plot is growing in your mind and you begin feeling trapped by the walls built within the story.

Break the walls down and add more insanity.

The easiest way to do this is insert something strange from your own personal life into the story. It doesn’t have to tell the world anything embarrassing or outstanding about yourself or people you know, it usually helps to insert a funny story and have your characters react to the situation.

For example: Have the group of protagonists lost a bad part of town and stop at a gas station to ask for directions. Instead of offering help, the attendant smacks the leader of your troop in the back with a snow shovel and runs away to hide under a porch.

Another example: Drunk stories. Everyone has a few good drunk stories about them or friends. Have your characters tanked at the local pub and tell one of the classic stories only you and your friends/family understand.funny-ideas

Please know that most editors will frown upon “inside jokes” from writers within manuscripts, however, adding a bit of humor and humanity to a slow scene will spice up the plot. It also makes the story individually YOURS.

Another trick is adding yourself into the manuscript as a bystander who dies in a scene, like Kevin Smith’s “Silent Bob” character in Clerks. It’s an inside joke because it was his first movie and wanted proof he made something artistic and put himself in the film. Some people call this the “Stan Lee effect,” since all the Marvel movies have a cameo of Stan Lee in the flicks involving Stan’s creations.

These are only a few ideas – there are dozens more.

Keep writing, and great job! Don’t give up…

-Chris

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