Monday, April 9, 2018

A to Z - All About Writing :Having A Hard Time Writing

Welcome to the Blogging A to Z Challenge, where, this month, I'll be focusing on all things writing. This may be a random jumping around of topics within my theme, but hopefully something somewhere will be useful to someone. (V is for vague - see that last sentence.) Check out all the participants here . Now, lets get on with today's letter.

H is for Having A Hard Time Writing

You want to write a book. Great! But where do you start? At the beginning. It might not end up being the start of your story, but you've got to start somewhere and words on a page are much easier to rewrite and edit than words bumbling about in your head. So write.

Now that you've started, how do you continue? Try to end each writing session on the edge of the next scene. That way you can ponder that next scene in your head between sessions so when you sit down next, you have the words ready to go, or at least some inking of what happens next.

But now I'm stuck on a difficult scene. We all have scenes we struggle with. Give emotional scenes some time and don't be afraid to move more slowly than you usually write. Pouring out all that internal depth takes a lot of out of a writer. A scene that might normally take you twenty minutes, might take a few days. Act out action scenes to get a good visual of how they would look and flow so you can use the right descriptive language and timing. Are your characters traveling from point A to B with a whole lot of nothing happening? Opt for either a scene break and skip right to what happens next or make something happen. Set someone or something on fire, perhaps not literally, but give the scene a reason to exist if we need to see the characters actually traveling. Is the dialogue heavy scene dragging? What's the worst thing one of the characters could say? Put that gem on the page and see where that goes. It's sure to stir things up.

But I just don't have time to write. Sure you do, you just have to find it. It might be getting up an hour early or staying up an hour late, or writing on your lunch break. While a full day of nothing but time for writing sounds like the most awesome thing ever, it's not. It's a mythical thing that, even when attained, makes few happy and productive. If you can find a full hour, awesome. If that doesn't work, grab a few twenty minute sessions throughout the day. True story, you probably do most of your best writing when you're not actually sitting down to write. It's going on in the back of your head or while you shower or fold the laundry. Maximize you keyboard time for spewing out the words you've pondered rather than sitting here for four hours with a blinking cursor, fighting the urge to re-organize your office supplies.

Do I have to write in order? No. Some of us do. I generally do. But I've talked to many writers that don't. I will say, that going non-linear can be freeing - the ability to skip to the next scene that excites you rather than slog through what happens between this scene and that one. However, I would advise at least writing a few notes to yourself along the way about the scenes you're skipping. That way, when you come back to sew the whole mass-o-chaos together, you've left yourself a map to do so.

Everything I write sucks. Welcome to your first draft, where sucking is just fine. Remember, the goal is to get the all words on the page. Once you write "The End", you can mine for the gems and get spackle and sandpaper out. You might be surprised, what seems like an endless stream of suck today, might not be half bad once you've had some time away from the finished project.

What part of writing do you find the hardest?

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  1. Definitely. Getting started writing can be hard. And siting down to get started can be hard too.

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  3. right, i think i got that profile sorted...great post, the hardest part is typing with a hand in a splint....other than that it is knowing when to stop the drafts.

  4. This is a great post for me today, because I'm feeling stuck at the last 10% of my first draft and finding any reason to procrastinate powering through (I have to say, A to Z isn't helping :-)) Thanks for stopping by!

  5. You covered all the big excuses. Me, it's those emotional scenes. It's hard not to push myself especially when I know that's the worst thing for reaction scenes. Thanks for this.

  6. you did covered all the reasons, excuses, causes of writing and not writing, and I have gone through them all.

    I have always had a hard time writing the middle parts. I just find the middle the most important part of the story because that's where everything happens. of course, they're all important - beginning, middle, end, but I just think if the middle of the story is bad, then what's the use of a great beginning or a great ending?

    have a lovely day.

    my latest a-z post is:
    fiction: he

  7. Great tips!

    To totally avoid having a hard time writing - I'd suggest sticking to poetry, preferably micropoetry, haiku or something... :-)

    All the very best for the rest of the challenge.

  8. For me, plotting is the hardest. If I don't know what point I am aiming to reach next, the story tends to get out of hand. But making a plot that is exciting, original, and just complex enough, is hard... :D

    The Multicolored Diary: Weird Things in Hungarian Folktales

  9. Hi Jean - thankfully I'm not in that mode ... if a draft post goes AWOL ... I move along and find another ... but sounds like you've covered all the spots - cheers Hilary

  10. I always feel like the part I'm on is the most difficult part of the process. When I'm writing the draft I think ahead to how much easier revisions will be because then I'll have something to work with. When I'm in revisions I think about how hard it is to imagine a scene in a way other then how I've written it in the draft. Ugh!


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