I’ve been editing a short story for nearly three weeks and I’m stuck. When I was working on it the other day, I got so depressed I said, “I hate this. I never want to write short stories again. I never want to write fiction again. I suck at it too much.” In other words, normal feelings when you have writer’s block. Pixar Writer's BlockThat’s why I was so glad when I stumbled upon this recently:

“When you’re stuck,” said writers at Pixar, “make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.”

I love Pixar, and I love this idea. So let’s practice it.


The Story: Two friends run into a group of murderers (i.e. the sharks in Finding Nemo). Make a list of what wouldn’t happen next. If you hit on an interesting idea, write a scene about it. Do this exercise for fifteen minutes. When you’re finished, post your practice in the comments section. Have fun!

Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).