Today, I want to explore a creature most of us have experienced, but may not have realized the true nature of. I refer to Scriptores Scandalum, an invertebrate species. Similar to the jellyfish in its transparency, this being takes invisibility a step further and can become like the wind, should conditions merit. Unlike aquatic life, however, this animal is primarily land dwelling, able to adapt to virtually any climate and temperature on the planet. Scriptores Scandalum bears its young live, without the assistance of external incubation. The young are amazing, able to move with great agility and even forage independently immediately upon entry into the world.
Their diet consists primarily of the soft, fatty tissues of their prey; they do not eat bone. Scientists have observed a fascinating phenomenon, namely, these animals are attracted to blank paper and new Word documents, but can also be drawn to unfinished works.
Research reveals a single juvenile can significantly stymie, while a mature adult can completely staunch, the flow of the creative juices of its victim. After arduous study, officials recently identified a substance, similar to pheromones, that heightens the feeding urge of Scriptores Scandalum, namely frustration before a blank document. Scientists report that frustration at a level of object throwing can send this creature into a feeding frenzy while milder forms of discontent can produce a more benign sting. They have yet to unravel the connection between the strength of a bite and the length of frustration-induced time a writer is away from their work, but speculation abounds that stomping incites more aggressive behavior.
Some might call them cute with their poof-y faces and plethora of translucent, slender tentacles, but similar to bear cubs, one would be well advised not to get too close for doing so can result in anything from a mild sting to an all out attack by the full pod. It is to these unfortunate souls I wish to devote the remainder of this post, sharing my personal findings re: the most effective treatment of an attack.
After the initial sting, immediately, remove yourself from the work space. Take a long walk and calm down. As one releases frustration, the attractant declines. Sometimes this is the only step needed to gain a complete cure from a juvenile. If you find you have been stung by an adult, however, more intense action becomes necessary to restore the flow of your creative juices. Said steps are as follows:
1) Accept that things should be exactly as they are. Repeat this phrase aloud until you believe it, in the depth of your being.
2) Think back to the choices you made in your story line that produced your current situation and modify as necessary. Many times exploring new paths can produce possibilities you had not before considered for filling the empty document in a satisfactory manner.
4) Under NO circumstance utter or even think, “I have writer’s block”. There is no such thing, just as there is no such thing as Scriptores Scandalum (Latin for writer’s block). Have you ever seen a writer’s block? Let that notion go, for it serves only to feed ones frustration and prolong an attack. Recognize the problem for what it is: that you have yet to invent a narrative, nothing more. There’s no block. To many this may seem like semantics. Trust me when I say it is not. To hold a narrative you are being blocked only serves to deepen your stuck-ness. Understanding you have only to invent a narrative, something you do all the time as a writer, produces a very different possibility for creativity.
5) Give yourself time for inspiration to strike. On some occasions, it has taken me a week or two to invent just the right scene to make a chapter ‘work’, but an idea always comes.
6) For more severe cases of missing narratives, use an online creative writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing again. A few I like include:
Writing Forward – bit.ly/1iBT1mF
Creative Writing Prompts – bit.ly/1jdN9QG
Hogwarts Is Here – hogwartsishere.com
What are effective solutions you’ve found for inventing new narratives?
L. R. W. Lee is the author of the Andy Smithson MG/YA coming of age fantasy adventure series. A planned 7-book series, the following are currently available:
Blast of the Dragon’s Fury, Book One
Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning, Book Two.
Book Three, Disgrace of the Unicorn’s Honor is coming Fall 2014.
She is a wife, mom and reader of the same kinds of books she writes. From age 8 she had a passion to write books that not only entertain, but also teach uncommon life principles. Learn more about her books, read sample chapters, watch trailers, see reviews and much more!
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