We recently featured a guest post by Thomas Smith on the “4 Things Star Trek Can Teach Us About Writing.”Nothing against Star Trek, but as a Star Wars nerd, I felt it was my intergalactic duty to step up and represent the other side of the sci-fi universe. So here they are, my 8 Things Star Wars Can Teach Us About Writing!


1. Even the Death Star Had a Weak Spot.

Writing is a constant battle to get the right ideas in the right order in a reasonable amount of time, all while facing deadlines, day-to-day responsibilities, technical glitches, maybe a terrible handle on dialogue, perhaps an inability to spell better than an average sixth grader, or the dreaded and always lurking writer’s block (the Death Star of writing).

But no matter how large the issue, there is always a weak spot, a little exhaust vent tucked away somewhere, a hidden solution to the problem that you wouldn’t think of at first. Even if it means having to blow the whole thing up, there’s always a way to break through your writer’s block.

Maybe you’ve written your character into a corner and you don’t see a realistic way to wrap up the story. Step back a few paragraphs and jot down five alternate things your character could have done or said at that moment. Even if they don’t make sense, write them down. Then back up another few paragraphs or even a chapter and do the same thing. Repeat. Repeat. You will eventually find a new angle—yes, one that might force you to destroy a few chapters of your work—but you will. I once jettisoned 200 pages of a novel into the dark void of space and started over because it was the right thing to do. It’s horrifying to imagine, but once you find the solution, you’ll sigh with relief, just like Luke did after blowing up the Death Star.

But sometimes you can’t see the solution no matter how hard you try, so remember… until tomorrow – we’ll face rule #2

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