The Random Factor


Ever felt like you’re in a jam with your creative work?

Well, here’s a funky solution for you. Take out a fresh sheet of paper, and brainstorm the 6 most ridiculous course of actions you can take, then label them from 1 to 6.

Don’t think too much, don’t judge yourself, just trust the soup and go with the flow.

Then roll a die. Now, gulp before checking the number. Eeks!

After you’ve gulped in fearful/gleeful anticipation, check the number, and consult the respective course of action according to its label.

Finally, proceed to do exactly as it dictates!

1) Main character falls in love with a female dragon and attempts to put a ring on its claw
2) The female character reveals that she was a man all along, and wanted to steal the King’s riches after marrying him
3) The Energy Being fizzles off suddenly in mid-battle, causing great confusion among his allies
4) Food starts falling from the sky, and the farmers across the land are put out of a job. They rebel and riot across the kingdom.
5) 5 of the King’s most trust men reveal themselves to be assassins, but they have double-crossed both sides so many times they’re not sure who they belong to anymore
6) The main character dies due to some form of hubris, and the perspective of the book changes to another character (ooo R.R Martin must have rolled this one many times when he wrote Game of Thrones)

Some of these suggestions really make me want to writhe in an author-ly convulsion because I would have to revamp the entire storyline just to fit them in! But then, as I think about it, a few plot changes here and there are actually good to keep. I can discard the rest. It is in my power to do so. And furthermore, now that I’ve got my creative juices flowing, I can begin to incorporate various elements that I’ve never thought of before into my current story to make it all the more amazing and write-worthy (support the I-write-because-I-love-writing movement!).

Once more, the purpose of this exercise is to simply get you out of a funk.

So, for it to work well, promise yourself not to think too much, not to censor yourself, and write whatever comes. Don’t even think of the consequences of what happens if you implement something ridiculous in your work, because at this stage, consequences will freeze you, and you want to get unstuck, don’t you?

But even if you can’t rid your mind of anxious thoughts (like – what will I do when the main character gets killed off!), you can calm it down by re-assuring yourself that you can always undo the changes you’ve made if you don’t like it. Chances are, if it doesn’t work, it’ll spark some other creative thought as well, and it’ll probably take your work to new heights.

So whenever you get stuck, take some risks, trust the random factor, and roll a die!


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