A Couple Things to Remember as a Writer (Part 6)

snoopyHey all! Long time, no chat. Surgical recovery is going well. I’m still a more tired than I’d like to be, but that will fade with time. I’m working on getting my ADHD under control as well, that too, will take a bit of time. But I’m moving toward being able to function a bit better, so that leaves me hopeful. Once everything is balanced, I should be able to get more work done. In theory. Hopefully. Again, there’s that hope word.

Anyway, it’s been ages since I did a post like this. My last “A Couple Things to Remember as a Writer” post was written in late 2012. Apparently I lost inspiration for the series of posts or just forgot about them for a bit. Either is pretty likely. Anyway, here are Part 5, Part 4, Part 3, Part 2, and Part 1.

I suppose it’s time to return to one of my favorite types of post! Especially since it’s been a good 3 and a half years since the last one.

don’t be afraid to try things

Around March of last year, I was really struggling with my writing. Things that had worked in the past hadn’t been working. Martial arts wasn’t really giving me any ideas, I wasn’t getting much from reading or watching things. But I did play some video games and they made me want to write specifically as those characters. I popped into the RP community on tumblr, which was a big step in terms of putting myself out there. It gave me some really great friends and helped rejuvenate my writing juices, at least a little. It’s helped me dive further into characters’ heads, into their motivations, figured out how they’d fit in different situations. Every single character I write for RP has a cyberpunk verse because I wanted to see if I could. But trying this particular new thing helped me gain a lot of writing buddies – ones who helped me with my grad school application.

it’s all about momentum

In the past I’ve said it’s all about writing a little bit every day, and that’s still quite true. But the big thing? Momentum. Writing is one of those things that is very hard to start. Getting things going is where I’ve always had trouble. If I can’t get the ball rolling, then I sit in some semi-active stagnation and never get anything done. So yes, writing a little bit every day helps. But consistently keeping up with that routine is the more important part. Another part of that? Finish your scenes. I’ve left off in the middle of scenes before and never managed to get the same feeling going again. Keeping writing while the idea is hot in your head, keep the momentum going.

outlines are your buddies

Some people fall into the realm of ‘flying by the seat of their pants’, others fall into the camp of planning. I fall into the latter. I need to plan or things fall to pieces. I’ve found that having that road map keeps me on track and keeps characters that don’t belong in certain stories from shoving their way in. Kind of. Sometimes they still do anyway. But outlines are some of the ways I handle pacing, organization, all that. I’ve found that it really helps to have a vague idea of where I’m going so I don’t wind up  writing myself into a corner. It doesn’t have to be a big, detailed outline. Just one that gives you the idea of where you’re going.

sometimes characters don’t act like you planned

This is one that’s taken me a long time to accept – that characters don’t always react to things like you anticipated. Sometimes they’re far more hurt, sometimes they do something completely different than what your outline had in place for them. Let them do it. There’s no sense in forcing the character to behave in the way you wanted them to. This is when I’d go through to make sure the rest of the outline isn’t compromised – if it is? Re-outline what needs to be changed. Forcing your writing isn’t something you want to do, you want it to feel natural. So I think this goes double with the characters – pushing them to react in the way you want isn’t productive. The amount of times I’ve pushed for things to go my way in a novel and then had to revise that area so it actually works is phenomenally high. So let the character go off the rails for that scene. See what happens.

So that’s it! Once I think of a few more things, I’ll make another one of these posts. It was really fun to revisit this series. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it – and that it gives a little help in the writing process!

~LL

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One thought on “A Couple Things to Remember as a Writer (Part 6)

  1. Pingback: A Couple Things to Remember as a Writer (Part 7) | Rants from a Starving Writer

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