What Keeps Me Writing by Christine Duncan

http://www.amazon.com/Safe-House-Christine-Duncan/dp/1936127008/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1257712524&sr=8-2 I’ve been thinking a lot about what keeps me writing on a day to day basis.  I know there is a school of thought that it is easier to pick the writing back up when you leave it in the middle of a scene.  Or even in the middle of a sentence.

That doesn’t work for me.  When I return to an abrupt end like that I usually end up by pounding the keyboard, shrieking something like  “Oh my God, I know I had a really good idea about what to put there.  Now what was it?”

My husband, with whom I share the office, does not like shrieking or keyboard pounding.  It tends to upset him.  Then because he is such a nice man, he thinks he needs to fix it for me. (And to be fair, sometimes he does–I pound that keyboard fairly hard.) By the time we both get on the same page and back to work, a lot of time passes.

What does work for me is that I have learned to put in little notes to myself, as I type, or in the margins when I write longhand.  You know–all those little things that niggle at you when you’re on a roll that you can’t deal with right then?  I put those in inserted in a comment or highlighted in yellow.

So I might be rolling on a scene where Kaye confronts someone  and the dialogue is hot and heavy.  But in the comments, it might say something like, describe house.

Or it might be a scene where Kaye’s husband Pete is taking the POV and is the main focus of the scene but I’ll have scribbled in the margin, What is Kaye really worrying about here?  And how does it show?

The next day when I go to pick up the writing again, I’ll re-read the previous day’s work.  And it is those inane thoughts that I’ve had when it was going too well to deal with them that get me going.  I’ll take the time and describe the house (and delete the stupid comment when I have done so) and that will lead to me thinking about  the house’s occupants and the scene will pick back up.

Sometimes, rarely, I will also have a thought or two where to go at the end of a scene.  I put those in comments/margins too.

It’s not rocket science but it has always worked for me.  What is your trick that keeps you writing?


One response to “What Keeps Me Writing by Christine Duncan

  1. Well, my trick is not quite as effecient, but rather a little more puzzling to the family.

    I find if I want to get back into the flow of story, even if it’s only a little bit, I’ll go to the public library. It gives me a small slice of sanity that I’ve not been able to find at home.

    I’ll spend about an hour with pen, paper and copy of my latest story (all 110 pages so far), and even if I wind up writing just a couple of paragraphs, it gives me just enough motivation to continue writing on the computer when I get home.

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