Asking the right questions is a technique to open your mind to other possibilities when you are struggling to be creative.
I’ll show you this example but it applies in all areas of thinking and creativity.
A guy says he wants to be invisible so to answer that question directly we need to spend trillions of dollars developing metamaterials which are able to bend light around an object and thus make him invisible.
However, if we ask him why he wants to be invisible and his answer is because he wants to sneak into women’s change rooms, this opens the question up to a far wider group of answers.
Invisible can redefined as ‘something nobody notices.’
The answer to that question in terms of sneaking into women’s change rooms can be;
a) Dress as a woman
b) Hide inside a change room locker
c) Install a tiny camera
We can also explore the question deeper by asking why do you want to sneak into women’s change rooms and what are the alternatives to that;
a) Visit strip clubs
b) Get a girlfriend
c)Find other forms of entertainment
Here are six answers to the question of How do I become invisible. All of them are vastly less expensive than actually developing invisibility technology but they will provide a satisfying resolution.
So, if you’re suffering from writer’s block or you’ve painted yourself into a creative corner and you can’t get out of it, take a step back and start asking questions.
“I want to kill my main character’s mentor at this point but it’s essential to have the mentor at the end of the story”
Redefine kill to mean “I no longer have any respect for you and you are dead to me”
Is it possible for your character to have an experience with his mentor where he feels betrayed or let down by his mentor so the mentor doesn’t have to physically die but is dead for all intents and purposes.
Can the mentor’s death simply mean a physical separation so they can’t communicate?
The thing about asking questions is that it gives you options to explore and eliminate depending on their suitability for purpose.
I hope this helps, in the meantime if anyone needs me, I’m going to dress as a woman. Mwha ha ha