Welcome to this week’s writing tip Wednesday. Today I’d like to direct you to a great post I saw on Pub(lishing) crawl, a website hosted by a group of authors and industry professionals who blog about all things writing, publishing and books. The post was titled ‘A Conversation between Critique Partners: Maintaining Passion for a Story’, and was written by author Susan Dennard (Something Strange and Deadly.) with a few notes from author Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass.)
As the title suggests, Susan and Sarah are critique partners and they talk a lot during drafting, and help each other out when they hit a road block in their story. And this is what Susan talks about in this post.
She says: ‘We all know this scenario: you’re steaming along with a new idea, it’s flowing and you’re feeling great, and then…you’re just not. Maybe you hit a scene in your outline that you have no desire to write. Maybe you just don’t have any idea what needs to happen next. Either way, you’ve lost the flow and you no longer feel good at all.
Perhaps you want to toss this MS aside and work on a different Shiny New Idea. Perhaps you want to lie in bed and eat ice cream all day. Or perhaps you just want to stop all together, and this MS will get thrown on top of all your other half-finished ideas.
So, in the style of last week’s post, we’ve come up with the 4 steps to get your inspiration back and maintain enthusiasm for your story.’
The four steps they suggest are:
1) Recognize you (or your Muse) have a problem. The girls give helpful ideas how to do this for writers who outline and those who are pantsers. They suggest that if you don’t enjoy what you are writing, you are not writing the right story.
2)Decide if the issue is on a scene-scale or story-scale.To decide HOW BIG your issue might be, listen to your gut. Even if you could skip all the in-between scenes, are you actually excited to write the Point B scene when you eventually get there? If not, then you need to let go of what you had planned—and not just this scene, but the next bunch
of scenes. Possibly your entire outline.
3) Identify WHY your scene isn’t working.What is it about the scene that you don’t like? Can you pinpoint why you don’t want to write it? And what information MUST still be kept–what can’t you cut out?
4) Get your creative juices flowing…Look at images/books/movies/music that you know get you excited to tell stories.
They also suggest talking out your story with someone (or writing it out in a journal).And to take a break. Sometimes, all you need is a few minutes/hours/days away from the keyboard to really let your brain/Muse do its behind-the-scenes work.
The girls give some great examples with each step, talking about how they worked out problems in their own manuscript.
This is a great post for writers who have hit a rough patch in their writing, and even if you haven’t yet, I still recommend you take a look at this post for future reference. You can check it out at http://www.publishingcrawl.com/2013/04/01/a-conversation-between-critique-partners-maintaining-passion-for-a-story/