When you are not sure what to write, go and scrub a pot. You can think more clearly when you are doing something. It is not practical or productive to wander from room to room staring at the laundry, the dirty dishes, or the unfinished manuscript.
Find something physical to do. Perhaps all of your pots are clean, then go and find a broom and sweep the kitchen floor. While you are scrubbing or sweeping, think about your story. Think about your characters. Is she tall or short? What problem is she trying to overcome? What is the conflict? Is she nervous? Try and find a way to show she is nervous. Does she brush her hair all the time? Don’t say, “She was nervous.” Describe a scene where she keeps brushing her hair. How is the conflict resolved? Does she cut all her hair off? Does she wear make-up? What does she like to do in her free time? Does she like to eat popcorn?
Scrub a pot when you don’t know what to write. [Would you like to tweet that? You don’t have to of course, but if you want to, click tweet tweet.]
If you are one of those rare breed of people who have no dirty dishes and no dog hair or bread crumbs on the kitchen floor, and all of your laundry is folded and put away, your windows are clean, the toilet bowl is so clean you could drink from it, and your carpets look like they were just put in, then I suggest you do jumping jacks or run around the block.
Open the front door and smell some fresh air, run up and down your driveway, swing your arms back and forth like a monkey, and sing the alphabet song.
Now go back and dry your pot, put it away, and sit down and write.
The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. —Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie likes to plan her books when she is washing her dishes. I like to plan my stories when I scrub my pots.
And you? What do you do when you don’t know what to write? Please tell me in the comments. I really want to know.
p.s. I wasn’t sure what to write today, so I scrubbed all of my pots. The bottom of all my pots are clean and I wrote today about not knowing what to write about.
p.s.s. I also made a plan for my book; she cuts off all her hair, she doesn’t wear make-up, she likes popcorn, and she gets fired from her job.