Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Changing Directions

One of my critique partners is generally very positive. At a recent meeting, she was not as positive as usual. The gist of her message was: this is boring. Wow. If my most positive partner thinks something isn't working, it must not be working. And when I was honest with myself, I knew the book was treading water. Nothing was really happening. Egads!
Writer's tip: if something doesn't seem to be working, even if it's only in the back of your mind, it's probably not working.

So, I went back to the last time something interesting happened and asked myself how can I keep the excitement level up? How can I make the action build? Obviously, my first idea—which I wrote—was boring. So I got out a sheet of paper and wrote: What could happen? What would be exciting? It was like pulling teeth, but I made a big list of possible events, some of them ridiculous, some of them silly, some of them boring. The rule was: nothing was off limits. Use your imagination.
I then picked an idea which was more exciting and wrote a new chapter.

After I finished the new, much better, chapter, I tried it again. What could happen? I picked a new interesting idea and wrote a new chapter. Rinse and repeat. :)
Yes, I did end up throwing out about five chapters, but now, my imagination is sparking. I can't seem to stop thinking of exciting new ideas for what happens next. Huzzah!
The moral of this story is: don't be afraid to change directions in your writing. Of course, everyone's process is different.

What process works for you?


  1. I watch series like the Walking Dead and take notes. Think Cliffhanger to for each chapter.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  2. That's great advice, shelly.
    Thanks for stopping by! :)