“Yes, and…”

It’s a game.

Actors who study improvisation are taught that no matter what happens in a scene, just go with it. Example:

Person 1: “Look, there’s a purple elephant!”
Person 2: “Yes, and a little old lady is riding him.”
Person 1: “Yes, and they are headed for that ice cream stand.”

And on it goes. If someone says no:

Person 1: “Look, there’s a purple elephant!”
Person 2: “No, there’s not.”

The game is over.

This teaches actors how to accept, how to trust, how to keep the game going. You can easily adapt this to your writing.

“Are you going to finish a chapter this week?”
“Yes, and I will be starting the next one.”

“Are you going to submit your short story for publication?”
“Yes, and I will have a list of places to send it if it is rejected.”

Nervous? Afraid? Do it anyway. Don’t say no. Don’t end the game.

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