Two psychological laws from a list in Robert Assagioli’s book The Act of Will are:
- Needs, urges, drives and desires tend to arouse corresponding images, ideas and emotions.
- Urges, drives, desires and emotions tend to and demand to be expressed.
It’s the demanding to be expressed that struck me. As an author, how do I use that law to good advantage? Then it struck me.
How often have you experienced writer’s block? The phenomenon is a blocking–a failing to express, if you will–of ideas to continue the telling of a story. It is getting so far in your tale, then hitting a wall. Nothing more comes to mind.
The two psychological laws above suggest a solution to writer’s block. However, you, as writer, will have to become an actor. How so?
The next time you are stymied on where to go with your storyline, try this. Stand up and act out the role of each character, one individual at a time, in their actions, feelings, needs, urges (especially urges), and desires as you have written about them up to now. Become the person (obviously, you want to do this in privacy to keep your friends or family from locking you up). Get inside the person and feel the motivation. What are they thinking? Feeling? Smelling, hearing, tasting? Use their body language: stance, posture, expressions, gestures, ticks. Do this for each person in the story line. Be uninhibited. Get into it.
If you truly become the character and incorporate the ideals, zeal, passion of the persona in your role play, then, according to the psychological laws, the urges, drives, desires and emotions of the personage will demand to be expressed. A pathway will open down which to take the story. The character will lead YOU by the hand. Just follow–and write it down!