My favorite little exercise to shake loose ideas in my head is rife with Gallows Humor. I know strange and morbid humor is not for everyone, so consider this is a warning.
The point of this Writer’s Block technique is to write the death of someone/something in just a few sentences in overly simplistic or strange ways. It’s not about grammar or word choice, it’s just about encouraging your words to be fearless, focused, abrupt. Once compiled, I call them the Dead Chronicles.
I’m not sure why this works for me, I only know it does.
Here’s a small random sample, (with apologies to those who may have somehow read them the first three times when I tried to post and failed).
The Dead Chronicles
Once upon a time there was a boy named Marilou Stevenson. All his life, he was very easily distracted. Then, one day, he was so preoccupied that he tripped over a rock and fell off the nearby cliff. He died.
Bad Fish Tacos
Once upon a time there was a woman. She stopped by a taco stand and ordered some fish tacos. They were bad. She died.
Once there was a farmboy. He would always put 14 q-tips in each ear and run around in circles amusing the animals. It worked until he fell. Then, one q-tip pushed too far and he died.
Once upon a time there was a little robot, who lived in a quiet village — quiet, until the day the Giant came. Everyone ran off screaming, but the little robot was too slow. The giant tried to pick her up, but ended up just lifting her head and popping it off. She died.
Once there was a duck who caught himself on fire. His neighbor, an elephant, tried to help. Sadly, he only succeeded in trampling the poor poultry. The duck died instantly.
There was a little boy who wanted to be a fish and swim underwater all day long, just like a real fish. He decided to try it and while he was swimming, he saw a hook and grabbed on. The fisherman pulled him up, was startled to find a little boy at the end of the hook and had a heart attack. He died.
If you love Gallows Humor, you’ll love these posts from this week’s Prompts for the Promptless:
- Hyperlocal Hero – #58 Ping!
- Mama Bearing Musings – Gallows Humor
- Blog of the Imaginator – Orator
- Breathing Space – Grim Reaper
- Serendipity – Dying is Easy, Comedy is Hard
- Fish of Gold – Famous Last Words
- Repressed Expressions – I can Dialize an Orange
- Ramblings and Other Nonsence – Gallows Humor
- Cognitive Reflection – Gallows Humor
- Head Full of Fluff – Hanging by the Curlies
- Chasing Rabbit Holes – Gallows Humor
- … and you?
If you write your own addition to The Dead Chronicles, I’ll add it to this post. If you write more than one, you should just make it a post and link up to Prompts for the Promptless.
What are your cures for Writer’s Block?