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Another Angle | House Blog

My writing group has a game that we like to play: we all write down a location and three professions, then put them in a hat (well, two hats; one per topic), and draw them out. We then take our location and professions and write a scene. Person A is already there and the scene starts when Person B enters. It ends when Person A leaves and Person C enters.

If you've read The Lightbulb Forest, then “Last Crossing of the Night” was the result of one of those games. (And it explains why the professions are so out there.)

At our last meeting we decided to do it again because we had a lot of fun and came up with some really cool characters. I've ended up with a Hardware Store, a trumpet player, a stage actor, and Santa.

When I started writing my story, I thought it was a fun idea, but as I continued to write it, I found it kinda boring. It probably wasn't what anyone would expect, but it's wasn't as interesting as I wanted to it to be. So I scrapped it.

I began to think about what else could happen in that kind of place and what else I could do with people who had those kinds of professions, and what could I write that could actually be fun.

After a couple days, I came up with a new idea. As I was writing it, I knew that I'd found something better. And as I wrote the last line, I stared at it and went, “...what the heck did I just do?” Which is the moment I knew this story was better than the last.

So if you find yourself writing something uninteresting, don't be afraid to play around with it and find another angle. You might end up surprising yourself.


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