Creativity Under the Gun

DeadlineThere’s nothing like a deadline to get the creative juices flowing, at least for me. This summer I signed up for an online screenwriting class. Reading Save the Cat! (on more than one occasion) has helped me focus my story ideas and I figured taking a class would push me one step further.

Did it ever!

I’ve been working on a sequel to my first novel, Wish You Weren’t, and got stuck in the same place I always do: the climatic scenes where all the car chases, explosions and against-all-odds rescues are supposed to take place. Except that wasn’t happening in my story. The end of my outline sounded stupid. The climax scene wasn’t working. I was bored. And frustrated.

So when my teacher assigned us to write a two-page treatment and then turn it into a five-page script, I decided to take my concept for my sequel, Borrowed Time, and use it for my assignment.

By Monday noon I was sweating bullets. The assignment was due Monday at 5 p.m., but that deadline was irrelevant because my computer was about to die and I’d forgotten to bring my cord on vacation. As I watched the battery percentage drop, I came up with a crazy idea. A flight of fancy that totally fit the spirit of the story. Not only for the homework, but for the book.

I hurriedly finished the assignment and emailed it to my teacher, eager to dive back into completing my book. Once I get a new power cord…

Has your writing ever been inspired by a deadline? From an unexpected source?

(This blog post brought to you courtesy of my husband’s laptop!)

About Sherrie Petersen

SHERRIE PETERSEN still believes in magic and she loves reading and making up stories that allow her to go on wild adventures. In addition to writing middle grade novels, she moonlights as a graphic designer, substitute teacher, freelance writer, school newspaper advisor, yearbook advisor and mother of two children.

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