Writing Secrets: There’s a time to write and a time … to contemplate

 In Monday Motivation

There is a time when writing requires contemplation for ideas to coalesce. To write you need sometimes to daydream; to allow your thoughts to roam aimlessly.

But this is dangerous territory. When does “the need to allow my thoughts to coalesce” turn into “I’m procrastinating madly by gazing at the sea and having deep thoughts”.

Keep a notebook in your hand when you’re day dreaming and thinking big thoughts. Scribble them down. It keeps the thoughts deep, rather than allowing them to drift into inconsequentials. It focuses the mind.

On the other hand, don’t start writing too quickly. We’re always telling writers: don’t rush into that first page. Spend time developing your characters. Talk to them, ask them questions, let them write internal monologues.

Allow your story to develop out of the work you do on character. Even if you don’t know every nuance of your narrative before you begin, it’s good to know your direction.

Try to be honest about when you’re ready to start, though. If you know your characters backwards, have a good idea of what’s going to happen to them and which direction you’ll take them in, and if you know exactly what will happen in your first couple of scenes, then you’re ready.

When you’re at this stage, and you allow yourself to wonder if you shouldn’t spend a bit more time on yet another internal monologue, or perhaps you could pretend to be a psycho-analyst interviewing your protagonist (just to know her even better), it’s the fear talking.

That’s when you need to sit down and stare at the screen till the first word appears.

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