Monday, March 25, 2013

When Life Interrupts Your Writing...

Have you ever had one of those weeks (or months, or years) where you can't find the time to write? The car needs repairs, you just found out that your kids need follow-up dental appointments, and work has insisted that you stay late for what seems like the last decade? When you're that busy, how can you set aside the time and concentration to write well?

My recommendation is... make parallels to your busy schedule in your writing.

This doesn't mean that you should copy your life verbatim. After all, if you write up your frustrations exactly, then the dry cleaner who messed up your shirt or the fast food worker who gave you the wrong order just might take offense.

Instead, think about your main character's busy life. Is she a workaholic, or on permanent vacation? Either way, there are bound to be numerous events in her daily schedule that conspire to make achieving her goals difficult.

If you can work these details into your story so that they hint at plot twists, all the better. Otherwise, it will only be word-padding. The moment readers notice that you're adding words just to pad a word count, you'll lose more than a few readers.

In my current writing project, 'Paradise Found', my main character is trying to work on solving a case. Unfortunately, life gets in the way. He has to deal with a nosy neighbor, while fending off a supernatural attack. Have I written this scene yet? Of course not, life got in the way. However, I've made notes on it, and I'll be able to come back to it when I do have the time.

Writing Prompt: He would work out, he promised himself, if he ever found the time. As a fitness instructor, it should have been second-nature to exercise, but lately...

Have fun, and keep writing!

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