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Joined: 21 Jul 2002
Posts: 2028
Location: Thataway

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

**searches for a whip, to no avail**

Well, this is the advice that has helped me the most by far:

William Manners (in the book Wake Up And Write) wrote:
Even in the matter of plotting, putting words down on paper is better, far better, than merely sitting and thinking. Write your thoughts. Call yourself names, in writing, if what you have thought is absurd. Tell yourself, in writing, what you still need to find to complete your story.

Write something like this, for example, "I need a good juicy black moment. I need something to really jar the reader, make him feel that the hero will never get out of the jam he's in. Perhaps when the hero comes to meet the girl, she doesn't show up. He thinks that perhaps he misunderstood and he is supposed to meet her at his place. So when he goes there... Let's see, considering the girl's character, what might he find? Maybe he witnesses something that is not in her character at all. What could it be that he sees? Perhaps..."

Writing in this manner, more ideas will come to you in five minutes than you can think of in an hour.

I've actually started writing that way by default now, whether I have writer's block or not, alternately typing prose and brainstorming about the plot on the same page. Sounds weird, but for a first draft, it works surprisingly well.

Making something (words) out of nothing (blank screen/paper) is one of the hardest parts. Following the advice everyone gives, to "just write a lot without trying to evaluate the quality," is the other hardest part.

But it can be done! Just remember, if you're typing, you're making progress. If it isn't good enough to publish, that's fine, because once it exists you can go back and make it better. And that polishing is the fun part.

So go forth! Write! And be merry!
"The one concession a sane man will never yield the universe is that of considering it seriously."
~ James Branch Cabell
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