Ever wonder why “all the king’s horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put Humpty together again”?
Well, sure, maybe it’s because he was an egg and it’s pretty much impossible to put an egg back together once it’s cracked, but that’s beside the point. Those men couldn’t figure out a way to get him back up on that giant wall even if they did put him together. So, they gave up and turned away without even trying.
What’s the point of this very odd metaphor? As writers, we have to strive to be the opposite of the king’s men.
This week I ran into a proverbial wall with my own writing. I found out that I have a rather large plot hole in my story that needs some serious patchwork before I can move on. But I’m not going to give up. Even if overcoming writers block seems as impossible as putting Humpty Dumpty back together again, we have to remember that nothing worthwhile is ever easy.
So, if you find yourself hitting a wall over and over, try looking at the story from a new angle. If you’re struggling to figure out the motivation of your hero, switch to the villain. Protagonists and antagonists are often the opposite of each other when it comes to the goals they want to attain.
If you’ve been focusing all of your attention on the hero, you will be more likely to look at the villain with fresh eyes and a renewed sense of creativity. This should make it easier for you to figure out what they want, which will in turn help the motivation of the hero fall into place.
Remember, there are always two sides to every story. The king’s men didn’t stop to think about what Humpty would want, only that it would be too hard for them to help him. Don’t make the same mistake.