A Lesson by Domenic Luciani

tips on kicking writer's block in the figurative nuts.


At some point, this happens/happened to every writer who has ever written, even the famous ones. You'll be writing a story, it sounds great, you're excitied to write more, and then . . . bam. Something happens in your mind and you can't think of what to say. The story comes to dead halt. You're sitting there, eyes bloodshot, heart pounding, the only thought in your head is what the hell? Maybe you have thoughts of throwing your computer out the window.


Anyways . . . The best way to get over writer's block, is to write, and the best thing to write when you can't think of anything else is a short short story. That's not a typo. A short short story. These stories are anywhere from a paragraph to a sentence in length, should take only a few seconds to write, and (I'm serious, people) it works. This story can be about anything, any character, and at any point you want it to be. It could be smack in the center of an action. It doesn't even need to make sense because this is for you.


Here are two examples. The first is by Antonia Clark, the second by Brian Hinshaw.



Excuses I have already used---

     He hit me first. She called me four eyes. The dog ate it. It's not my turn. Everybody else was doing it. My alarm didn't go off. I didn't know it was due. My grandmother died. It went through the wash. My roomate threw it in the trash. He got me drunk. He said he loved me. He said he'd pull it out in time. She pulled out right in front of me. I didn't know how you felt. I was only trying to help.  was in a hurry. It was on sale. I needed a little pick-me-up. It calms my nerves. They looked too good to resist. It sounded like such a good deal. Hospitals give me the creeps. He's probably tired of visitors. He didn't even recognize me last time. There were extra expenses this month. My vote wouldn't have counted anyway. The kids were driving me nuts. I didn't have time. My watch must have stopped. I couldn't find the instructions. The dishwasher's broken. Somebody else used it last. I forgot my checkbook. I gave at the office. I've got a headache. I've got my period. It's too hot. I'm too tired. I had to work late. I got stuck in traffic. I couldn't get away. I couldn't let them down. I didn't know to say no. We were thrown together by circumstance. He made me feel like a woman again. I didn't know what I was doing. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I've been up to my eyeballs. The flight was delayed. The car broke down. My hard drive crashed. I've got a call waiting. I'm flat out. Life is too short. It's too late to go back.


The Custodian---

       The job would get boring if you didn't mix it up a little. Like this woman in 14-A, the nurses called her the mickingbird, start any song and this old lady would sing it through. Couldn't speak, couldn't eat a lick of solid food, but she sang like a house on fire. So for a kick, I would get in there with my mop and such, prop the door open with the bucket, and set her going. She was best at the songs you'd sing in a group -- "Oh, Susanna," campfire and stuff. Any kind of Christmas song worked good, too, and it always cracked the nurses if I could get her into "Let it Snow" during a heat spell. We'd try to make her take up a song from the radio or some of the old songs with cursing in them, but she would never forget those. Although I once had her do "How dry I am" while Nurse Winchell fussed with the catheter.

     Yesterday, her daughter, or maybe granddaughtercomes in while 14-A and I were partways into "Auld Lang Syne" and the daughter says "oh oh oh" like she had interrupted scintillating conversation and then she takes a long look at 14-A lying there in the gurney with her eyes shut and her curled up hands, taking a cup of kindness yet, And the daughter looks at me the way a girl does at the end of an old movie and says "my god," says "you're an angel," and now I can't do it anymore, can hardly step in her room.


If you want something shorter, there are sentences fragments. I wrote these myself.


-- The dentist looked up from the mouth of his latest patient to witness a man enter the room with a gun held  to his head. Not again, the dentist thought, shaking his head.


-- If ever there was a moment when one was in love, it was when he gazed upon the carny woman with no arms and four legs.


-- a bomb had exploded in the car next to him. He wasn't surprised, or even fazed. In fact, he was annoyed it hadn't gone off earlier.


-- The sky darkened, but over to the left of the horizon. He judged the wind and realized he wouldn't get a drop of rain. Oh, well, he thought. He guessed his crops could go another century without water.


-- Something fell from the sky, a piece of paper, black at the edges where it had been burned. Above it, a flaming city crashed into the earth.


Write your own stories and get rid of that damned writer's block.

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Posted 2 Years Ago

Good suggestions :) And by the way, I just have to mention, your sentence fragments are hilarious. The first and last ones are particularly surprising XD

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Posted 2 Years Ago

can i call this my path to SUCCESS....????
HELL YA...!!!!!

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Posted 2 Years Ago

You just saved my writing passion.

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Posted 4 Years Ago

Excellent idea.

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Posted 4 Years Ago

I'll be sure to remember this next time I get the block.

--Looking at the crude letters "SCREW YOU" scratched into the glass, he wondered what possessed people to write such things. He then got out his keys and scratched his own message.

--He knew it was a bad thing to see. A terrible thing to see. The last thing he will EVER see. But he couldn't help but admire the awesome power unleashed from the atom.

--Sometimes he wished he couldn't see or hear. Then maybe life in this place would be just about tolerable.

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Posted 4 Years Ago

--She stuck the fork into the outlet, but was disappointed when she wasn't met with the familiar shock she was used to recieving.

--He hated it when people used him like a tool. It totally pissed him off. Tomorrow, he was going to show those kids at school what they do to him. Yes, he was going to bring his fathers' gun to school to show everyone how he felt. And just the thought of it made him smile a smile he never knew was inside him. It made him happy for the first time in years to think about showing people the real side of him.

--I hate it when I am told what to do, millions of times after it's already done. Sometimes, I wish I could throw the knife I cleaned into my masters' face just to show him how clean it is. (No, not me.)

--People make me sick. They're so disgusting I wish I wasn't one.

--She wanted to be with him, but he told her to f**k off and never see him, call him, or talk to him ever again. What did she do? She had no clue. It came so sudden she felt like she was thrown back into an icy freezer and left there. But she knew he wasn't lying, that's why she finally decided to lock herself in her room with the kitchen parring knife and stared at herself in the mirror, just before she took the blade to her face and started cutting the words 'I loved you' on her forehead. Maybe he would notice how much she loved him then.

(Random thoughts are so much fun :) heehee )
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Posted 6 Years Ago

This is so true! I do this all the time to get rid of my writer's block, not that it's working right now for Journey of the Four. But whatever.

I also write random poems to help me, too. :)
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Added on August 25, 2010
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Domenic Luciani
Domenic Luciani

Buffalo, NY

That is my real name, and that is really me in the picture. Like Patrick says, I'm not in the witness protection program. I mostly write books and stories. I like fantasy, or fiction, but if..