A while back I did a post that summarized the Write Your Novel in a Year through week 14 (from one of my favorite writing blogs: Writers Write). I’ve continued following it and this week’s struck a chord with me: Tough Questions You May Be Facing. The goals in this post are to evaluate your story idea, your plot, and your characters. Is one of those things just not working? I think it hit me because we’ve all expressed frustration at some time or other when we’ve had to answer that yes, my _____ isn’t working.
This has a 2-3 hour timelock and 5 quick hacks (like there is a quick way to fix any of these things). The hacks included (these are verbatim from Writers Write):
1. Rewrite your first chapter in three different styles or genres. See which one resonates with you or works best.
2. Forget the chronological order of events you’ve worked out – just write scenes that seem to flow together.
3. List two or three other existing characters that could be the villain or antagonist in the book. Could you shade them to play a more antagonistic role or create more conflict?
4. Build your confidence by writing out your achievements at the end of each day. For example, ‘I wrote 300 great words today,’ or ‘I nailed the coffee shop scene.’
5. Similarly, write out an affirmation at the start of each day. ‘I’m a talented and dedicated writer,’ or ‘I’m open to learning more about the craft of writing.
In the McDaniel Romance Writing program, we worked with structure and wrote stories trying out several. I remember struggling with the ABC structure, but the outcome was a scene I ended up keeping. At this point, since I am struggling to get words on the page, #4 is one I think I’ll use. #5 takes me back to my Steven Covey days when I read and re-read and followed The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Steven Covey espoused saying your affirmation to yourself in the mirror every day.
The Pin It, Quote It, Believe It for this post is: “You have to decide a direction to go, and you have to move forward in that direction amidst a sea of second guessing” (Donald Miller). I’ll give you a different one. Look yourself in the mirror – directly in your eyes – and say: “I am a talented and dedicated writer.”