Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tips From a Young Writer - Distractions

So you're writing along. You've got a good enough plot, your characters are being at least somewhat cooperative ... thing is ... you're starting to get a tad bit bored. Maybe you're at a slow spot, maybe you're just not quite sure how to get your hero out of the cage so that he can get the heroine off of the dangerous cliff. Whatever the case, suddenly your little brother or sister's Barney video is strangely interesting ...

Or ... wait, your room is messy, you'd better go clean it up. And - Oh! - it's such a beautiful day outside, you've just got to go for a nice walk in the woods. Or maybe, hmmmm..... hey, what's for lunch?

Anyways, you keep getting distracted. No matter how hard you try, or at least pretend to try to keep yourself interested in what you're writing, suddenly, you've got a whole plate of more important things to do.

Well, you're never going to get anything written if you keep letting yourself get distracted. So, how do you avoid distractions?

First, remove distractions before they can occur. If you can, hide in your bedroom where you can't see the TV playing Barney, which, if it isn't being interesting, it's being very annoying. Once in your room, make sure you keep it clean. If you're being distracted by fresh air, take your writing outside if possible. I do a lot of writing outside. And make sure you're not hungry while writing. Writing while hungry makes your characters hungry, and that makes you all grumpy and nothing productive can be written.

Second, try to rekindle your interest in your book. It's probable that your interest in everything else stems from your lack of interest in the story itself. Call up your characters on the phone, invite them to a sleepover and talk the book over with them. Evaluate where the book has been, and see if you can come up with where to take it. Don't force it. If an author forces a book, the readers will notice. They'll also notice a slow spot. You want things to be natural, true, but you also want things to happen.

If you're really distracted, you may want to talk your distraction with your family and friends, if they are the sort of family and friends that are interested in your writing. Perhaps they will have an idea or three to get it moving again. They will, at least, be able to tell you to get back to writing whenever they catch you watching Barney.

And that's all I have to say on that topic. If you have any opinions on it, feel free to comment. And if you have any requests for me to write on, feel free to leave a comment with them as well!

1 comment:

  1. Great post for writers of all ages and genres. I taught a novel writing class for middle schoolers this year in our homeschool co-op. I wish I would have had your tips to share! Love the reference to Barney. Music certainly can be a distraction. I can still hear him singing: "We're a happppyyy fammmmilyyyy!"


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