Here is one of the greatest pieces of advice I can offer you when you get stuck with your dramatic writing.  I stumbled upon this solution and it has saved me many times over the years.

The trick to unsticking is to go somewhere else.  Do something new in your script.

Create and introduce a new character.

Begin a new scene in a new place.

Change the topic entirely for a moment within the life of your dramatic piece and your plot and thought and characters will be able to breathe again.

When you’re thinking, “What next?  Now what?” — and none of your ideas seem fresh — inject something dangerous and new into your stewing, cathartic, brew.

I have been stumped for half a day until I remember my own advice:  “Go somewhere else.”

There’s an old theatre chestnut that every Act of a play should begin in a new setting — and that has a much more substantial meaning in antiquity when Seven Act plays were the norm — but as subsequent generations became dumber, and less patient, the theatre experience moved from Seven Acts to Five Acts to Three Acts to now… a measly Two Acts.

The Two Act play structure tempts stasis in thought and place and time
— and that’s why mixing things up by introducing new characters and new places can help remedy a disintegration of the breadth of storytelling you did not create, but must now deal with, in your Two Act structure.


  1. I’ve tried this in the past, David, and it works excellently! Thanks for reminding me of this super technique! 🙂

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