Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to keep writing!

When you are in the process of writing your novel I know for a fact you will meet a number of obstacles, and this is a little guide how to write through them.

I'm sure most people have at one point in their lives thought "I'm going to write a novel, how hard can it be?" And then they have started writing, hitting about Thirty pages and then found a full stop. I's not that you don't have the ability or imagination to finish the story, but suddenly you just can't. Having done a bit of writing in my time I know a few things to do when the so called "writer's block" comes sneaking.

First of all, I don't think writer's block really exists. I think that if you really really want to write, and have something on your mind, you will be in the possession of the ability to power through. I can understand being so busy that finding the time to finish a story is hard, but even then I think it's all about prioritizing.

Sketch out the frame of the story, if not anywhere else but in your mind. Know in which direction you are moving. That the journey of writing can take you to a different destination than you first had in mind is completely brilliant, and don't fear it. It just means you are feeling your story.

Make time for writing every day. My teacher once said, "Write ten sentences each day, and chances are you'll write at least double". I say, Twenty sentences could be a decent blog entry, so there you go! It obviously depends on what they say, but you can get pretty much information out in Twenty sentences.

Make sure you have what ever inspires you close at hand. And if now faith will have made it so that the inspiration is a beautiful man or woman currently not close to you, then imagination is a great thing (I'm not suggesting stalking or anything :-) ).
I normally find my inspiration in stories already written, movies, television series even, and music. But I once wrote a story based on a picture of a very intoxicated Vince Neill from Mötley Crüe... So it is really true that inspiration can strike where and when ever, and don't you miss out!
For me these days it's almost impossible doing anything without Marillion close at hand. No, I don't have the actual people here...I wish, but their music on my iPod.

Set the scene. Describe environment, describe how things smells, how things looks, how things feels. And here's a trick on how you can do this without sounding like something every single person has read and heard before. Write the cliché. Then change the words, but not the meaning. Then change it again, and what you're left with is a new way to talk about something familiar.
"My life changed when I met you!" - fairly straight forward.
"My existence altered when you came into my reality!" - changed, but still the cliché, now, can I make this special? I don't know, I'll give it a go, make it special so that at least I feel it's special.
"Living was a word I didn't quite understand before you suddenly made it all clear to me. I feel so blessed to be a part of a life altering experience. Also, knowing that it will keep on changing for knowing you is an uplifting thought." - yes, I know it's not Nobel prize material, but the last one is more novel like than the first one.
This is actually a fun exercise, and I really think this daring to think outside my own box is one of the things that has made me a better writer. You have no idea how many times I re-write a novel before feeling it's finished.

Be true to yourself.
This sounds like the earlier mentioned cliché, but I mean this from my heart. Writing a story about what you find exotic might come off as blunt and ill researched from other's points of view. You have to write about what you know, thus making it exotic to others... And if you want to write a story about something you don't know too much about, you have to research...a lot!
Know that there are always someone out there cleverer and smarter than you. I'm not saying you shouldn't believe in yourself, because you should. You should write your novel thinking you're so good that even Shakespeare would envy you your skills. But being denied publishing because you haven't gone deep enough into the material is a bit aggravating and annoying...believe me! So if you are a teacher, then write a story from a teacher's point of view. If you know a lot about comics, then find a way to incorporate your knowledge.

Have fun!
This is probably the most important point to this little list. Have fun. If it becomes a drag and you feel a lot of obligation you probably should leave that particular project (unless you're writing your bachelor thesis, then keep up the good work!!!). Writing a novel should be an experience for the writer when writing it as it is to the reader when reading it. Only then, I think, you'll leave enough of yourself for it to work.

Oh, and Wikipedia, and search engines of the same kind must remain open to all, as it is a tool for a writer, a quite useful one as such!

Have a great day!

No comments:

Post a Comment