Before learning about characters and craft, there’s one BIG writing obstacle to overcome.
That’s right: I’m talking about the “get-your-ass-in-the-chair-and-write-already” obstacle.
Many writers, myself included, have a certain knack for not writing. We have no time, we have writer’s block, we can’t find the right words, that floor needs scrubbing, there are important YouTube videos to watch — the list of excuses goes on.
Here’s a few of my thoughts on how to keep the writing juices flowing….
11 Rules For Writing Fiction
If I don’t have a title, I don’t know what the story’s about. I don’t own it, I don’t know where it’s going or why it needs to go there. Give your story a name. Give it an identity.
Don’t wait for some mythical moment of inspiration. Set yourself a schedule–half an hour every morning, Monday nights, every day from 4-4:15pm. Stick to it. If you must, write about not knowing what to write, until a better idea comes.
Don’t let Google tempt you away. You know that 2-minute research for the perfect word or fact will turn into an hour-long YouTube session. If you’re stuck for a word, type BLA and keep going. Seriously, it’s what I do.
…halfway through a scene or a sentence. Especially one of those delicious climax-type ones. The next time I sit down to write, I re-read a little of the scene and my muse goes into overdrive–it is far easier than starting with a blank page.
Write what you want.
Not what you think will sell. Not a copy of the latest bestseller (unless that’s what you want to write…). Find out what stories and problems matter to YOU, and your conviction will breathe life into your work.
Writer’s block? Think your story’s a failure? Stay calm, keep writing. A little bit of anxiety is good. Too much will stifle you. You can always fix things when you edit.
(On occasion.) It’d good for you. But pick your activities carefully: stick to wordless, rhythmic activities like going for a long walk along, cleaning, etc. By not speaking or reading, you’ll find yourself back to writing sooner than expected.
Have more than one idea on the go.
When you hit the mid-story “OMG this story is crap why did I ever start it!?” slump, just switch to working on the other project until you calm down. Most people dislike their story at one point; it’s normal.
Nothing will distract you from writing more than back ache, neck ache, eye ache, headache… Unfold yourself from that seat and stretch a muscle or two.
Avoid lists like this one.
Seriously. You’ll end up spending the entire afternoon writing this list, instead of the #fridayflash you were MEANT to be writing. Ahem. Or you’ll end up reading this instead of writing. Sound familiar?
Well you’ve read this far. Give me a hand: what’s your eleventh rule for writing fiction?