Wednesday, April 21, 2010
R is for Redirect
One thing he used to say was that there was no such thing as 'Writer's Block', just wrong turns. He said that if you are stuck in a story, or novel, or play...that the best thing to do is to go back to the section where things were flowing. Redirect your thoughts from making it work…to finding out why its not.
When did the writing transition easily from head to hands to paper? What scene were you writing when you were in, 'The Zone'? Chances are, the very next section is where you went wrong.
I took his advice with a grain of salt. After all, he only wrote hour-long episodes and I wrote 400+ pages...yet I've found through several books, that his advice was sound. Whenever I get stuck I go back to when it was good, and I usually find a misstep right after.
Did the hero and heroine reconcile too quickly? Was the dialogue unfinished...or revealed too much too soon? Did the decision to kill off a character or push them into the background hurt the flow? How about the characters, did I write them against personality or motivation and their actions don’t ring true?
Another trick he gave to us was to redirect our thoughts by working on something completely different. I usually have two or more novels in varying stages going at the same time. Sometimes all it takes is to redirect my conscious gears on one thing so that my subconscious percolates.
What about you? Do you have any tricks for redirecting a project that is stuck or feels wrong? I’d love to hear about it. Until next time…Go Write!
Photograph by Dano, Uploaded on September 11, 2006.