Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How to write more often

Hello to the writers, both professional and aspiring, that I have befriended along the way and the readers of this blog. Lately, I have noticed many writers who enjoy writing don't write enough. This is my attempt to help you get pecking away at the keyboard a little more often. This may not be professional information from a high-selling author, but it's what keeps me going.

1. TIME - How you make this time is up to you, but is necessary to get in that mind-frame before you start writing.that this is your "writing time". Time management isn't exactly one of my strengths, so we will stop with that.

2. ENVIRONMENT - This isn't school, so I don't care about that gum you are chewing, but your surroundings should be comfortable. I'm not saying a wooden chair and silence, but make your environment relaxing. If a little background noise is your thing, then do it, but don't overdo it. Make sure you are sitting in a position that is comfortable for you and if the writing does start to flow, you won't have to be getting up and moving around. Be comfortable, be relaxed.

3. CHANGE - Now you are sitting there ready to go and the words aren't coming out. Allow some change to your routine and things may pick up for you. If you don't plot ahead for your writing, then do some forward thinking. A thing I have found that really helps is not writing all my work in the order it appears in the book. If the next scene is a romantic scene and that isn't on my mind, I may skip up to the battle scene that may seem a little bit more suitable. Many movies aren't filmed in order and just pieced together in the editing rooms and I find this works with writing.

4. RE-READ - Brain going blank for what to write next. Go back and read the last bit you wrote and allow your mind to absorb it up and think where you were heading when you wrote that. Sometimes you will remember why you stopped writing and that great idea you had. Re-visit what you wrote last and many of the same thoughts will come back.

5. ADD SOME SPICE - Are you bored when you write? Then make some storyline changes because you are boring your readers. If it puts you to sleep writing it, chances are you only going to help your reader have a snooze too.

6. START SOMETHING DIFFERENT - "Whoa! What did he just say? Isn't that bad?" Hell no. Many people think multiple projects are bad ideas, but I disagree. You just have to do it properly. Don't combine large projects, but there is nothing wrong with poking around with some poetry or a short-story if the novel is running a little dry. Also, change your genre if you are starting a side project. If you are writing about wacky world, start a serious blog. If you write fantasy, write a horror short. In the end, that big project may take a little longer to complete, but you are still writing more often. (Note #1 - If you have deadlines, this may not work.) (Note #2 - If you start many projects, stop it! Don't overdo it.)

7. IMAGINE - Read the last paragraph of your writing, close your eyes and think about what you wrote. What is going on? Picture it, imagine it. Try and make that last scene come together in your head. What comes next?

8. EXPLORE ANOTHER MEDIUM - If you can't write, draw a picture or pick up that old guitar in the corner that has been collecting dust. While this may seem like a diversion from writing, it gets the creative juices flowing through the body. After a bit, stop what you are doing and try to go back to writing. This trick does take some focus and dedication to wanting to write or that other thing may be all you end up doing, but if you can, try it. Do something else that is creative for a bit, bring it to a halt before you are satisfied and try to write again.

9. SIT UPSIDE DOWN AND DRINK A GLASS OF WATER - Not exactly a good idea, but it was funny to suggest it. Don't be afraid to be a little silly sometimes. Moments of brilliance have came at silly times. Smiling while writing could make your work more uplifting.

10. READ If worst comes to worst, pick up a good book (may I suggest Last Rites: Divine Intervention - lol). While you are reading pay attention to the flow and make a mental note of your observations. Does your story have a good flow? A smoothly planned story is a easier to write.

Read books from other authors about writing. Terry Brooks has a fantastic book about writing and the writer's life, but the name is escaping me. Stephen King's "On Writing" is a great read and has some interesting buts about inspiration for some of his key books and eye-opening look into his writing environment and style.

--- May you wear the buttons right off your keyboard ----
Corey McKenzie

The Last Rites Universe

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