Take it where you can get it.
I have been stuck in a particular series. The biggest problem was the flashback element that was pivotal for the main character and for the storyline. The story dealt with witches and that made the flashback options wide open but I was stuck with what could have been a never-ending bog instead of the murky middle.
I mentioned it casually to my sixteen year old who is also a writer. I did it more out of frustration than asking a question. He not only offered the perfect solution, but did it out of reflex.
I have a lot to teach my son about the craft of writing, but I also have as much to learn from him. I don’t need some ninety year old curmudgeon to guide me, not when I have superteen on my side.
Where did you get help from an unsuspected source?
I was not a product of the 1950’s and so I was not raised in a house where there was such thing as the woman taking the back seat. My daughter is a powerful girl soon to be woman in her own right. I hope that these characters and stories reflect the inner fire I see in her everyday fighting a still male dominated world. She impresses me everyday with her ability to jump into male dominated subjects and clubs and take them on full steam ahead. I am proud of her work in the Robotics club, and even more for starting an Anime club when she didn’t find one. Both areas are very controlled by the belief they are male subjects. She is out to prove the world wrong and I can’t wait to be on the sidelines cheering as she proves they are a human subjects anyone can be good at and love. — feelingproud.
Have you ever had a day of the blinking cursor. A day that nothing seems to come to mind. You know a million things to write about but not have any clue where to start. I know many “serious” writers shun fan fiction groups and their ilk, but many of them have a great collection of starter sentences. I have never written fan fiction that I recall but I have found many great starters that got me moving on a project. sometimes I even went back and edited the original starter sentence out of the project entirely. I use them like a starter pistol. At the end of the race the pistol type didn’t matter, just that I had a frame of reference to begin. For me it is like walking in the woods, it doesn’t matter which side of the tree you go, you still end up on the other side of it.
Have you ever written something and wished you could delete the entire internet to keep anyone from seeing it the next day? Invariably, this will be the same time you have the highest number of people hit your site first thing in the morning to read it. I have done it plenty of times. I still do it somewhat regularly. I am trying to take the good advice from other writers though. I treat these stories like a biology experiment. I break them down into the parts that kind of suck, the parts that I must have been drinking to type in that manner, and the ones that weren’t so bad. What made them bad. Was it word choice? Did the subject drone on and on because you were figuring out where to go with it next? I used to delete these, I used to only post after the fourth or fifth time I had gone over them.
This translated into a much lower volume of material. I found many stories that only needed a tweak to fix. That is when I decided to start pushing out the good, the bad, and the ugly of my desktop. What ever came out that night in my writing went up. No questions asked. I would fix spelling and grammar issues if I spotted them. I found my writing getting better on the first draft. I was writing less junk, I was finding my voice faster.
I am still on that road of learning. I am still a novice. I have however, learned what I sound like on paper and what makes my voice unique. With all the editing all I was proving was that I could catch errors. I spent so little time writing and so much time editing I forgot I loved writing. I won’t be making that mistake again. I also hope to make less of the other ones as well.
Something that I struggle with, and so do many others from meeting many writers, is diet and exercise. I never know what to eat and when I do it is usually bad for me. Like frozen burrito in the microwave bad. I am also blessed to have some pretty diverse and amazing friends that I have made over the years. One of whom is a competitive swimmer. She really knows what she is talking about and has the knowledge and experience to share with us contributors to the national waistline. Follow her new blog on food and deciphering the tons of half true information out there.
Being in better shape, means less carpal tunnel, less back pain, more comfort while writing, better sleeping habits. I am sure at least one of those applies to my writing friends.
This is not a sales pitch, fad diet, or any other means of income for someone. This is practical advice from someone who has lived it and knows what they are talking about.