I will not be doing a writing prompt today because I’m feeling a tad lazy and I have beer to bottle. So I thought I would give a little advice to anyone who is writing a book.
DO NOT FORCE IT!!!!
I cannot stress this enough. Everyone and I mean everyone says “Write every day.” And they are absolutely right. However, if you are struggling to write your book. Be it a chapter or specific character or whatever and you just can’t seem to get in the zone, put it down. Walk away. Find a writing prompt or jump ahead to a different character or maybe the sequel. It doesn’t so much where you go instead so long as you do not force it.
I say thing simply because I was going through my second draft and buzzing right along and some of it was fantastic but around, I want to say 20,000 words but it was probably closer to ten I just couldn’t feel it anymore. What did I do? I just kept chugging along even though everything I put down I hated. I just kept going until one day I realized I had 80,000 words… of crap! Capital C-R-A-P. CRAP! Now sometimes if you aren’t happy with the writing the bones of the story are still ok enough that you can just print out and attack it with a red pen, maybe have your critique buddy go over it with you. Not me. Not this time. I had to start from scratch.
I am currently almost to 26,000 words again. Its been tough but I learned the hard way to write something else for a while when I get stuck.
So what to do when you can’t seem to weave the magic into your story?
1. If you are artistically inclined you can draw your characters. I try to do this all the time. It takes several tries usually to get them the way you want but when you are done you have been thinking so intently about them that you can write them for hours! Three of my characters are on my public fb page Marissa Frosch Writes.
2. Exercise. Yep I said it. I don’t know about you but once I get into a run, (you know that turning point where suddenly you don’t feel like you are going to die but that you could run forever?) When that happens I can’t help of think about my characters.
3. Play the what if game with your characters. Pick a character, for the example I will go with my protagonist from book two Zurik. If he were in a bar and a fight broke out. He would slug the guy next to him just to join the party. At the same time Zeke my protag from the first book would quickly break it up and try to keep it from getting out of control. So what I would do to help my writing. Write Zurik and Zeke in a bar when a fight breaks out. I may do that later on…
4. Write character sketches. You have a lot of characters in your books make your self a cheat sheet and include some of those what if’s.
5. Write something completely different. If you are really stuck and you need to just leave it alone. This is the way to go. Get absorbed in something new. This is why I have books in several different genres. Will I publish them all? Probably not, but they come in handy in times like these. If I’m stuck in a book where I have to create a whole new world for the reader I hop over to one that takes place here. Different genre different characters. Just what the doctor ordered. I also use my blog for this. In fact I’m using for this very reason right now. Chapter three is kicking my butt.
6. Writing prompts! I love these. If you have a book of them just flip to a page and make yourself do whatever it happens to be. You can end up writing some amazing things you never knew you could.
7. Read. sometimes all you need is a break from the whole thing. Pick that book that’s been trying to stare you down since you brought it home from the book store and show it some love.
Ok that’s all I have for today! Hope this helps anyone who is stuck.