Friday, May 27, 2011


Most of you should remember those memorable initials WWJD - what would Jesus do? I find this WW_D template very cathartic when trying to break a writing logjam. No, I don't make my characters like Jesus. I insert assorted people in the blank space. Just read on. It'll make perfect sense.

1. Your protagonist.
You're having it out with your daughter, both your frustrations on the rise like two volcanoes building to spew. If you can, stop and ponder What Would *insert protagonist's name* Do at this moment in time? Take any point in your day, any dilemma in your life, any crossroad in your day and think WW*name*D? Then translate that answer into your material.

2. Admired writer
You have a favorite writer or two on your bookshelf, multiple books stacked side by side. Next time you're banging your forehead on your keyboard, make eye contact with the spines and titles of your favorite author's books. WW*insert author*D?

3. Famous actor
You're writing your book, and you're stuck. Stop and envision what actor would play the role of your character if the book became a movie production? Christian Bale, Charlie Sheen, Natalie Portman, Jeff Bridges, depends on your character. If he a good guy? Bad guy? Secondary character? Comic relief? Plant an actor's presence in your head and imagine how it would play out. WW*insert actor*D?

4. Mentor
Some of you have a friend or guide who supports your writing struggles, pushing you to succeed, critiquing/trashing/editing you and your work until it is worth a submission. In the middle of the night, in the thick of a workday, in the midst of a long holiday weekend you may not be able to reach this oh-so-important person. Get used to thinking WW*insert mentor*D?

Frankly, this can be quite fun. My protagonist is Carolina Slade. Sometimes I can't piece how to get her into and out of trouble in the proper mix of humor, anger, stress and despair. So I put a brunette Reese Witherspoon in her place. She comes to life...and so does my writing.

Have a great weekend...writing!


Laura M. Campbell said...

This is a great idea! I'm sure I will employ it at some point today while I struggle to finish the rewrite of my short story! Thanks for sharing.

D.G. Hudson said...

Hope, I was almost turned off by the title but you managed to use that as a stepping stone to some great points. I admire your ability to turn any subject into a post.

Re the post - I especially liked the idea of imagining an actor in the characters role. It gives me a base to build on.

Have a great weekend.