Tuesday, November 21, 2017

CHEATING ON YOUR WIP (HOLLY SCHINDLER)



We all want our books to be a joy to read. Generally speaking, if our books are a joy to write, that often means our readers will enjoy reading them.

Sometimes, though, that’s easier said than done.

Inevitably, at some point, the book we were so enthused about becomes a slog.

Sometimes, what you need to do is get back into the play or the fun of words.

Again, easier said than done?

Maybe not.

Often, returning to the fun of writing means grabbing on to another project. 

Go ahead. Cheat on your WIP with a shiny new less problematic project. Indulge in a play day.

Doesn’t have to be a work in the same genre or age category. Doesn’t even have to be a piece you’ll seek publication for. Maybe it’s a poem. Maybe it’s a picture book. Maybe it’s a stray scene that you’ve had in your head for a while. Maybe it’s a character you'd like to explore.

If you feel like writing it down, that’s great. If not:

Consider dictating it. Or sketching the new character you might be itching to develop. Go on a photography trek to an area you’d like to put in a story.

This is simply an exercise in total, complete creative fun. Do something you’re totally excited about.
Often, if you can rev that excitement, it will still be with you when you come back to your WIP. You’ll infuse your pages with joy again.

(Another bonus: sometimes, those “fun” days can occasionally lead to breakthroughs in your WIP!)

4 comments:

  1. Love it. And in fact, the novel I have on deck started out this way. (Now I just have to finish the actual WIP)

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  2. Many times taking a break from the WIP has led to happy meanderings that have led to enhanced scenes or bits of dialogue. I found a perfect sentence this morning while riding the elliptical at the gym...

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  3. My new favorite word: slog! Ain't it the truth! Thank you for this discussion!

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  4. Elizabeth Gilbert offers great encouragement for us to have a torrid illicit affair with our writing in her fabulous book BIG MAGIC. Sneak off at lunchtime for a passionate few moments with. . . .our writing!

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