Stuck? Ran into one of those other roadblocks, eh? There’s a ton of ways to break through it. Some find a breakthrough in a good bottle of wine, though I find a good nap in that tip. And, sometimes that’s what my brain needed – a rest.

Others find inspiration in people-watching, a change of scenery, route, or task. I have other projects on the desktop to which I bring a fresh perspective when momentarily stuck on another. Ever smack into a wall in a crossword puzzle? Do you switch activities, let your subconscious do the work, and pop back later with the answer? Sure you do, unless you’re Ms. or Mr. Perfection. In which case, go away. I’m talking to normal people. And myself – as usual.

Often, I get a boost in the right direction from odd words or names. Looking for a character name? Mine often tell me who they are, but with a bit of cautious tweaking, they might accept a suggestion. Yes, characters should be appropriately named, and while some writers believe in a name-choosing formula, a good name idea might be at your fingertips.

Have you ever checked the newspaper? I’ve found some really offbeat names there, though I never use a complete name. I allow the cadence of the name to suggest something with as much eye and ear appeal. If it doesn’t fit your character, it may birth a new character with a new story. And there’s your ‘other project’ to dig into when you’re stuck in neutral on the writing highway!

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