I’ve been thinking a lot about writing recently. Thinking. Not doing. This is my problem and it’s been going on for a while. Having said all of that, I did learn a few things recently that have given me some ideas about working.
It started with going to Anita Heiss’ launch of Paris Dreaming. It continued with my usual trawling of the internet and Twitter. I love looking for how Writer’s Write. I have this belief that someone will write or say something that will be the key to unlocking me and get me writing, writing, writing. That I’ll have a writing epiphany and the words will suddenly stream right out of me.
Of course, it’s not going to happen. I am the one who has to make it happen. I need to have my butt in the seat and write. Here’s what’s going to help me:
People make these for various reasons and I’ve always thought there were a bit pie-in-the-sky. Oh i’ll put up pictures of dream men and houses and they will fall into my lap. (I’m still waiting, maybe I did it wrong). However, I am quite visual and I have realised that have a visual representation of my story will greatly help me. So I went out and bought two cork boards ready to start creating a Storyboard for my story.
I know this seems obvious but there is no reason why you have to only work on one thing at a time. This was highlighted to me while watching an interview with Neil Gaiman. He said he doesn’t believe in writer’s block because if you get stuck on one thing, you work on something else until you get unstuck. (that’s why I bought two cork boards).
It’s one of those things you already know but sometimes you need someone to remind you. I have a bunch of stories in various stages – only one of them truly progressed. Sometimes I dont feel like working on that one. So I won’t. I ‘ll work on some Flash Fiction or start plotting out another story or do a bit of character work. I like the variety.
Live your story
Ok so you may not be able to live every element of your story. If you are writing about a serial killer, i am not recommending that you go out and kill people to see what it’s like. However, you can test out stalking your prey by sitting outside your own house in the bushes or get one of your friends to let you try to follow them around without them seeing you to see what would be needed.
In an interview with the Sydney Writers Centre, Anita Heiss talked about her research trips to Paris and Canberra. Go to the places you are writing about. Just think of all the fun things you could get to do in the name of research! Personally I’m making a list and then I’ll work out which story to put them into.
Of course all authors say, you need to live life to write interesting stories. So have some fun. I certainly intend to!