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Have you ever felt desperate? Not desperate to find disposable diapers at midnight when you realized you just used the last one and your baby has diarrhea? And not desperate to find your car keys. I mean desperate to find a way for your hero to escape the wooden box sinking in the middle of the ocean desperate.

Let’s Play a Story game to Break Writer’s Block

As your character sinks to the bottom of the ocean, and as the air supply at the top of the wooden box gets smaller you grab your head in your hands and pace the floor frantic to save your hero’s life before his air supply runs out.

You try jumping jacks to stimulate oxygen to your brain. You do a google search for ideas to break writer’s block and then do you everything they suggest.

As suggested you try writing standing on your head; you write with your non-dominate hand in cursive with a pencil and you take a long walk in the woods listening to Vivaldi, but nothing works. And you are discouraged. You are ready to stop writing for the rest of your life.

But wait! don’t give up! Please don’t be discouraged, I have the solution to break writer’s block and save your hero from drowning.

Let’s Play The Story Game

While we play the game, lets give your hero a few more minutes of air, “The box with the sinking hero landed on a small outcropping of stone and halted the descent for a few minutes.”

How to play The Story Game:

There are four categories below, with fourteen suggestions in each category.

Write out numbers from one to fourteen, cut them up into individual pieces and pick out a number from each category. Location, Character, Name, and Problem to Solve.

Then write a story from the prompts you chose.

You can also add to the list with your own ideas. Here are the ones I came up with, with help from a few friends. (Thank you Diane, Valorie and Katina.)

Location

1. the beach
2. the forest
3. backyard BBQ
4. a dumpster
5. at a mall food court
6. in a tree
7. on a cloud
8.the kitchen
9. the grocery store
10. a car
11. the dentist
12. the hospital
13. a castle
14. the playground

Main Character, or The Protagonist

1. skunk,
2. squirrel
3. raccoon,
4. rat
5. frog
6. penguin
7. panda
8. little boy
9. Little girl
10. cat
11. dog
13. moose
14. wolf

Frog by Pamela Hodges

Want to win this drawing? Use the practice prompt below and post your practice by Friday at midnight to enter for a chance to win the original illustration!

Character names

1. Thelma
2. Stanley
3. Harold
4. Ruth
5. Paddy
6. Fred
7. Nick
8. Betty
9. Joe
10. Mary
11. Rebecca
12. Shelley
13. Kathleen
14. Harry

Conflict or a Problem the character has to solve

1. Lost a shoe
2. They are hungry
3. They can’t find their mother
4. a bear is chasing them
5. they can’t find their smile
6. they are late for school
7. a dog ate their homework
8. They missed a deadline
9. they are lost
10. a friend is mad at them
11. they have not money to pay the rent
12. they bought candy instead of paying their piano teacher
13. They skipped school
14. they got a D in spelling

Now you tell a story with the prompts you chose. I chose two, five, three and twelve. So I have to tell a story with these prompts. In a forest, a frog named Harold bought candy instead of paying their piano teacher.

Why playing The Story Game helps break writer’s block

Playing a game helps stretch your imagination. You are actually stretching your brains creativity muscles.

A runner stretches before a race. At least they should to avoid injuring themselves. Stretching your brain will help you save your hero from drowning in the middle of the ocean in a wooden box.

Excuse me, before I leave to rescue the hero from drowning.

Want to win the frog drawing above? Use the practice prompt below and post your practice by Friday at midnight to enter for a chance to win the original illustration!
And the winner is “a bugs life.” Now I just have to get their address and mail it to them. 🙂

Will you please tell me how you break writer’s block when you get stuck in a story? Share in the comments section.

PRACTICE

Write for fifteen minutes using the story prompts as suggested in the list above. Take one prompt from each category and then finish the story.  Break writer’s block by playing The Story Game. When you are finished writing, (for fifteen minutes, not for the rest of your life), post your practice in the comments section and please be kind to someone else and comment on their story.​
xo
Love Pamela

Pamela Hodges
Pamela Hodges
Pamela writes stories about art and creativity to help you become the artist you were meant to be. She would love to meet you at pamelahodges.com.
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