A long time ago, in a galaxy ... er, bedroom ... far, far away, before I had even started the novel I plan on POD publishing, I blew out both knees. Messed up the MCLs (medial collateral ligaments) severely. I was housebound. Bedbound. Screwed. This went on for a long time while I waited to heal, and it could have become a serious depression problem, but I managed to immerse myself in music, among other things, to help pass the time. I had already written a science fiction novel, so of course I had that to work on. Then another story began to form in my head -- a crime/thriller. But instead of putting it on paper or my word processor (yes, this was so long ago, it was before I got a computer), I tried a new method. Hell, why not? I had all the time in the world. Each day I would put my headphones on, blast music I loved (it varied with my mood) nonstop, close my eyes, and picture the story as a movie, starting with the opening scene. I've always been visually-oriented anyway. I was lying down in bed due to the circumstances, the music was soothing in its own raucous way (you didn't think I was listening to elevator music did you?), and sometimes I would even fall asleep. But eventually, it began to become a very cool thing. I did it for maybe an hour at a time, once or twice a day, and each time, I would start from the very beginning -- the opening scene. As time went on, I got further and further in the story. And because I started at the beginning every single time, the more times I did it, the more details my mind filled in, all on its own, in those early scenes that I "watched" so many times. Basically, the story wrote itself, and presented itself to me as entertainment to help the weeks go by. Ok, months. Did I mention I really messed up my MCL's? I didn't finish the entire book this way. Maybe half. But when I finally felt ready to take off the headphones and start typing instead, I had a story that fascinated me, one that could go in any direction, because I still didn't know "who dunnit" even though several of the characters made great suspects. They all seemed very real to me, because I'd been watching them go through their lives for months. I find that writing works best for me when I have at least one character I know well, and here was a whole collection of them. No wonder the rest of the book flew by. I wouldn't say the rest of the story wrote itself, but I was on a roll. I wish the rewrites I'm doing right now -- yes, the FINAL draft -- were going as fast. But rewrites never do, do they?
Anyway, I thought maybe someone out there having trouble with the dreaded B word (writer's BLOCK!) might want to try this method ... even if they have two perfectly good knees :-}