What do you do when you're stuck writing?
Really, really stuck so you can't make heads or tails of the problem?
A. Indulge in the 20 scoop Vermonster, hot fudge, banana, cookies, brownies, and all of your favorite toppings at Ben and Jerry's.
B. Call me to brainstorm consult the crap out of the story.
C. Read actor/writer/director/amazing Alan Alda.
For me, "Alan Alda's interview on storytelling on film" is my new go-to, how-to article. http://pov.imv.au.dk/Issue_06/section_2/artc2A.html
I was particularly drawn to his words on what the character wants:
"I can always tell, I think, when conflict is concocted in a hastily written television drama, like a cop drama, because it looks like the writer has struggled to find ways in which the characters disagree, because that writer's convinced that the essence of it is conflict.
But that's missing the point, I think. You automatically get conflict if people in fact want something, and want it so passionately that they believe they deserve to have what they want."
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: It's all about following what the character wants. When you're stuck, follow the want.
Don't miss the example about the 2nd story window.
"I think people are drawn to watch people who want things."