Stand on your head.

I practice yoga just about every day. Don’t worry, I’m not going to proselytize. I am going to pass on a bit of yogic wisdom, though: Stand on your head.  Its rather wonderful to see a room upside down. You notice things you hadn’t paid attention to before. You see space underneath things. You spot chips on chair legs that had been invisible before. When you turn back right side up, you understand the room in a new way (and you know where the dust bunnies are hiding). When you find yourself stuck, turn upside down. You don’t have to actually do a headstand,  although by all means do so if it sounds appealing. What you do have to do is come at your work from a different point of view.  That may mean putting yourself in your antagonist’s shoes. Think about him as part of a family.  What kind of grandpa would he be? Bad guys can be grandpas. They can even be good grandpas. I’ve done this exercise with my favorite antagonist. I don’t discuss his family in Blessed be the Wicked, but I know he has thirty-three grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Knowing my villain watches his granddaughters play soccer and reads stories to his grandsons changes the way I feel about him. That changes the way I write about him. Try it. You might discover something about your characters and their lives you hadn’t known before. Namaste.   

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