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C'mon Brain, Give Me Something New!

I've been working on a final draft before work-shopping a new story.

Funny thing is, it's about a subject I have spent almost my entire adult life supporting and I've found that my brain is kind of stuck in the status quo of it...

How am I supposed to get creative with my story if my brain won't allow me to think outside the industry?!

So I turned to ChatGPT. She (I always refer to her as a she for some unknown reason) offered the following suggestions:

  1. Brainstorming: Start by jotting down all the ideas that come to your mind. Don't censor your thoughts and just let your creativity flow. Write down everything, no matter how absurd or unrealistic it may seem.

  2. Reverse thinking: Challenge yourself to come up with an ending first, then build the story around it. Alternatively, you could also try reversing the roles of the protagonist and the antagonist or the hero and the villain to give a unique perspective to the story.

  3. Change the genre: If you usually write in a particular genre, try switching to a completely different one. For example, if you usually write romance, try writing a thriller, sci-fi, or comedy story.

  4. Use prompts: Use writing prompts or story starters to give you a starting point for your story. You can find these online or create your own.

  5. Combine unrelated ideas: Try combining two unrelated ideas, themes, or genres to create something unique. For example, you could mix time travel with a murder mystery or a fairytale with a dystopian world.

  6. Read and watch diverse content: Expose yourself to different types of media and stories to expand your creative thinking. Read books, watch movies, and shows in different genres, styles, and formats.

  7. Take a break: Sometimes, stepping away from the story and doing something else can help spark new ideas and perspectives. Take a walk, listen to music, or do something completely different to clear your mind.

There are some good techniques in here, but they aren't all sure-fire ways to achieve what I'm attempting to do... so while ChatGPT is helpful at putting a million Google searches/research at the tip of my fingers, it's not smart enough yet (even with additional prompting) to be able to help me.

And that's a common problem in my career. I think in concepts and most people including ChatGPT do not.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to come up with story plots. The key is to experiment, have fun, and keep an open mind to new ideas and possibilities. I guess I'm headed back to the drawing board and maybe this time, I'll be able to get my scene unstuck with a new plot idea that fits the story I'm telling.

Alan Saunders,

Friends told me I was late to the game for writing musicals, even though I've been writing them almost my entire life. so this blog is my journey into writing professionally for the stage.

Check out for how-to articles and resources for writing your own musical for the stage!

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