Ever find yourself feverishly writing away when suddenly the plot sputters to a standstill? You no longer know what happens next, your characters refuse to speak, and it feels like your brain is mired in mud. Sound familiar? Whenever this happens to me, I backtrack. I retrace my steps to the last fork in the road, plotwise, and try a different tack. I send the whole story spinning in a new direction and almost always the piece comes alive again. The plot restarts itself like an engine that had stalled, the characters begin chattering again and the story flows once more. Give it a try the next time your writing gets stuck.