Hello again everyone!
Sorry for the radio silence. My boyfriend and I went on a road trip over Valentine’s Day weekend. Washington is such a beautiful state! We drove up to Bellingham and worked our way down, hitting some great shops and cafes on the way.
Today I wanted to talk to you about a way that I help keep myself inspired: board games.
Well, games in general, really. This last weekend, my boyfriend and I found the wonderful world of “Gloom“. Being a horror writer, I found this game to be right up my alley. The point of the game was to take an eccentric family and make them suffer horrible tragedies before finally killing them off. All the while, your opponents are trying to cheer up your family by having them fall in love and become popular in the public eye. It’s a wonderfully dreadful game! Think Adams Family meets Life.
The greatest part of this game is the storytelling aspect. You are given the choice of an eccentric family (one is a circus, another is a family of serial killers, and — my personal favorite — a group of mad scientists) and while you descend horrible happenstances on them, you tell their story to the group.
My first time playing, my favorite story arch was Grogar (the lady of the house tried to make him into the perfect groom for her daughter). He is a teddy bear with a human brain in him. He became a horrible alcoholic (“There’s just something missing in my life…a hole in my soul…that can only be filled with whiskey) that finally got trapped on a train and died of alcohol poisoning in the bathroom stall.
In the middle of the game, that’s when it dawned on me. What dawned on me, you may be asking. Ideas… Ideas did, that’s what. I came up with great ideas to add to my current WIP (“work in progress”).
Yes, games. Games can help you think outside of the box because you are forced to make decisions and deal with situations that you wouldn’t normally have to deal with.
In fact, during our entire trip I was bombarded with new ideas for my story. My phone is filled with notes about what my characters should do and what I should throw at them. While I was out trying and learning new things my brain kept making new connections.
So whenever you’re stuck, why not try to play a board game or a card game. Make it something tangible so that you can interact with people (yes, we writers often have problems with that last part).
If you’re not the board game type, then why not try something new. Go outside (*gasp*). Get some sunlight. Go talk to some actual people. Ask questions. Learn new things. Not only with the exercise be good for you, it will also give you a break from your work so that you can come back to it with fresh, new eyes.