So, this weekend I sat down to write and was not allowed to do anything else (except drink my latte and shut the hell up about being hungry).
With these kinds of restraints, words HAD to show up on the page. So I got to work. Here are a few things I noticed that helped me break through my writing drought.
- HE SAYS, SHE SAYS GETS WORDS ON PAGE: Maybe you aren’t a
dialogue person, but I’m usually pretty good at getting a good bantering going
on. For some of my scenes, I didn’t know exactly all of the things that were
going to happen or what I wanted the scene to look like that my characters were
standing in …but I had an idea of what they were going to say to each other.
Run with that. Just write out the dialogue. Literally write what he says…then
push ENTER …then write what she says back, etc. We can add the fluff later and
where exactly they are – but really, if what they are communicating to each
other is a highlight of the purpose of this scene, that get it out. I couldn’t
believe how much I pumped my word count out by just tackling some dialogue.
- ADDING THE FLUFF TO THE BONES: Okay, so I have done that
in the past a lot – where I write a bunch of dialogue but then that’s all it
is. Faceless people bickering back and forth. To change up your writing session,
find one of those places in your WIP that is kind of bare bones and put some
love into it. Set the surroundings, dress your characters, know the weather,
smell the smells. Flesh out that scene so it’s living and breathing and smiling
its pearly whites at you. Or…jagged, snaggletooth if that’s your thing.
- SKIP AROUND YOUR PLOT: I know this sounds super dangerous
for those of you who live and die by writing in order. If you have a minor heart-attack
thinking about writing a scene five chapters ahead, you don’t have to.
But it works for me to get me going, especially if I’m really excited about writing that scene because it’s going to be intense/emotional/dangerous, etc. What I have found when doing this is I start to wonder why I’m not as excited to write the stuff in between where I am and the chapter I want to skip ahead to. If it’s not exciting to me to write why would it be exciting for the reader to read? Maybe something needs to be changed to bring that awesome scene in sooner or –make what is happening in between more intense/emotional/dangerous too?
- STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS THAT SUCKER: Sometimes I have a
starting point for a scene but I haven’t yet discovered exactly how it will all
play out. Like I know something like CHARACTER A is going to meet CHARACTER B
here and they are going to have a conversation that becomes significant later
on in the story. Okay, so I know what’s going to happen but…not really. Some
people try to then plot out that specific scene and then write by plot points.
I like to just stream-of-consciousness that bit. Don’t worry about it sucking
(because it’s going to suck hardcore). Just write. Anything that comes to mind
about the POV character and what they are thinking when seeing the other
character and their interactions and blah blah blah. Let it all come out in...well…a
STREAM. Or a river if you prefer. Tidal wave. TSUNAMI. However you’d like to
imagine the words flowing, don’t stop writing to edit yourself. Let it go
without any restrictions. No one is ever going to see this load of garbage you
are TSUNAMI-ING out of your fingertips. You will be surprised how many good
ideas come out of this.
So yeah, that’s what I did this weekend. It was definitely still painful at points and I didn’t much like the starving bit but in the end, guess what?
WORDS ON PAGE.