Throw the Mailman Out the Window

Is this one of those days you feel like throwing your computer out the window? Do it. Or, rather, have one of your characters do it. Does that not fit into your plot? Have them throw the mailman out the window. Let them throw water balloons at the dog barking across the street. Maybe pull a Gallagher and smash that water balloon.

Smash something. Throw something. Blow something up. Have a temper tantrum. If your character holds herself back from violence, have her imagine herself doing it.

Have fun with it. Let us hear the screams of the mailman. Let us hear the sound he makes as he hits the bush two stories below. Does your character look out the window? What does she see?

That barking dog you are throwing the water balloon at – how does his bark sound? Is it high pitched, or is it a low pitch? Is it a happy bark or an angry bark? How can you tell?

Get specific. We want details. We want you to spill your guts, or the guts of one of the characters. Is it one of your favorite characters that gets tossed out the window? Do you think it is one of the reader’s favorites?

Describe the feelings or lack of feelings after the damage is done? Does your character feel relief, guilt, or something else? Explore those feelings. Find out what makes her tick. How did she get to this point?

Flashbacks are fine, as long as they fit in with the plot. Having a flashback just because you can’t think of anything else to write isn’t. There needs to be a reason for a flashback. If there is no reason, place the scene in the moment. Even if there is a flashback, it is still best to make it feel as if it is in the moment to the character flashing back.

There. Now you feel better, don’t you? How did that change your story? Really? Great! Now write all about it.


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