What I really need is someone to poke my brain with a stick.
I have the stories in my head, I write them down, so far, so good. But I often feel that something is missing, that I’ve forgotten something, that my story needs something more – but I can’t think what.
This is the moment when I need someone to, as I call it, ‘poke my brain with a stick’. I need to talk to someone who’ll say ‘it’s a great idea, but maybe…’ (the ‘great idea’ part is very important!). All they have to do is make a suggestion, or ask a question and somehow, all that extra storyline or characterisation or description just comes pouring out. Just the act of someone else forcing me to think about it triggers a release. It’s like when you stick a knife into a apparently empty mayonnaise jar and find a good dollop of mayo still in there.
I need someone else to do it. I can’t do it myself (believe me, I’ve tried). I need someone else to look at my work with fresh eyes, and then give my brain a poke. Even I’m surprised by what it stirs up.