Sure, that means practising my writing, but it also involves thinking about the way I write.
At least 50% of my writing time is not about putting words on a computer or paper, it’s about thinking – thinking about the way I’m writing – thinking about my story.
This involves thinking about all sorts of things like
- taking the time to get to know my characters
- working out how to get my characters from one place to another
- increasing the tension by working out story clues for the reader that my character won’t know about
- thinking about the shape and pacing of my story and whether I’ve allowed enough beats
- how to immerse my reader in the setting
- any logic problems with the plot
- what’s going to happen next and how is will my main character react
- what kind of ending am I working towards
- how is my character thinking and feeling in the scene I am writing
- what are my character’s motivations in the scene I am writing
- what is the purpose of the scene I’m writing in the whole scheme of things
So I guess what I’m saying is don’t berate yourself about lack of words on paper. It’s not a measure of how hard you have worked. Sure it’s something tangible, but if you have spent all day researching and thinking, that’s still working on your story – it’s still an important part of the writing process.
As long as you have allowed yourself to spend time with your characters and their story in your mind, you have still been creating, you have still been working towards that elusive goal; finishing your story.
And to me, thinking time is well worth the effort and can avoid a lot of rewriting in the long run.
I’d love to hear how much time you spend thinking about what you’re writing and whether you have any ways like yoga or listening to music to get your creative juices flowing. Feel free to leave your comments at the end of this post.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out Friday Feedback where writers can 150 words critiqued.