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Camp Care Package #1: Eavesdrop on your characters.

Author Alexia Gordon is your Camp Counselor this week. Find all Camp Care Packages in Breaking News throughout the month of April, or learn more about Camp NaNoWriMo!

1) Listen to Your Characters: 

Everyone gets stuck. Five novels written and, still, sometimes I stare at the screen or page, mind blank. 

When that happens, I close my eyes. I imagine two of my characters in a room and let them talk. About anything. Sports. Weather. Groceries. Socks. Eventually, they’ll stop discussing scores, rain, laundry, and who forgot milk and get back to the plot. Sometimes chit-chat turns into plot points. A rained-out game ruins an alibi, a suspect is spotted in the dairy aisle, a clue found at the laundromat.

Next time you’re stuck, eavesdrop on your characters.

Writing Dare: Stick two of your characters in a small space they can't easily leave (like an elevator or a car) and see what they talk about. Spend 10-15 minutes writing their conversation.

2) Warm Up Before Diving In:

I warm up before exercise. Stretching prior to starting my routine makes my muscles feel less stiff, my movements more fluid.

Writing is an exercise. Just like pilates, barre, or yoga, writing requires repetition to become a habit and practice to become competent. So warm up before you write. Warm up writing exercises limber your fingers and get your brain juices flowing.

Writing Dare: Before you jump into your project, try out something totally different! Journal for five minutes about anything on your mind, or write a scene about a person on a haunted bus.

author photo

Alexia Gordon is a Virginia native, a physician by training, and an author by passion. She writes the Gethsemane Brown mysteries, from Henery Press: Murder in G Major (Lefty winner, Agatha nominee, Suspense Magazine Best Of); Death in D Minor; Killing in C Sharp; and Fatality in F. Find her on Facebook, Instagram, or visit her website.

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