I (Jill) had the privileged of hearing Stephen Bly speak at a writer's conference in Oregon years ago. During his keynote address, he gave ten tips for writers who are stuck. I wrote them down because they were equally brilliant and hysterical.
According to Mr. Bly, when he asked himself, “What am I gonna do now?” he considered this list of ten things:
1. Shoot somebody. This will catch the reader by total surprise.
2. Introduce an obnoxious new character who will really tick off your protagonist.
3. Go to the quirk, to the flaw, of your main character. Ex: Bad temper, someone asks about the scar on his face, his trick knee gives out, etc.
4. Lose something important. Adrenaline flows when you lose something.
5. Embarrass your protagonist.
6. Have the protagonist kiss the wrong girl. This annoys the reader.
7. Put the protagonist in a hopeless situation. Ex: A bomb. A deadly diagnosis.
8. Have a crucial side character disappear.
9. Start a rumor about your main character.
10. Go to the attic. Uncover something mysterious. A locked box. A letter from Matt Damon. A gun that’s the property of the LAPD.
How do you deal with writer's block?