I have found writing fiction to be exhilarating and completely frustrating at the same time. Exhilarating, because I am inexplicably free to create whatever I can imagine, and frustrating for the very same reason. There are no guidelines I must follow, no one to tell me what is or isn’t possible; if I tell you I have a goat that can pick tomatoes, you better bring a bucket. Sometimes, however, the pressure to choose the “right” twist, setting, action, character, or dialogue can be crippling, and cause me to neglect the world I have created.
The more I write, the more I feel as if my characters are flesh and blood. Consequently, the more I desperately want to do them justice, and give them the best story possible. Lately, my novel has been at somewhat of a stand still. It could partially be contributed to the new presence of freelance work, but more so to the crippling fear of failing my characters and killing the story, which has become so dear to my heart.
Just a few weeks ago, I was immersed in my fictional world almost as much as the physical. I would feel the hum drum of office life, and bills, and be overtaken by the impulse to leave this realm for one of my own creation. What changed? I began to second guess my writing thus far, and froze in fear of ruining the future for my heroine and her pals. I haven’t felt the pull to write again at all lately, and it scares me. So I have been putting my nose to the grind stone, as they say, and trying to fall back in love with what I have made.
Here are 3 simple steps that have worked for me when the world I created didn’t call to me anymore:
Read Something You LOVE
I am never more inspired to write than when I have read a particularly wonderful novel. Let yourself be lured into someone else’s world, and I believe you will find yourself revisiting your own.
Write About a Place Within Your World That You Have Never Written About Before
When we write, we tend to centralize the setting. Think about it, home, work or school, and in between. (Not including the adventure) Other than exactly where our antagonist resides, we don’t really explore the worlds we create very much. So take a trip and travel. Your main character doesn’t even have to be there. If your world is set in the past, let’s say an old western town, take a trip and explore the big cities of your world. This step worked WONDERS for me. I also gained a deeper understanding of my creation in its entirety.
Pick a Scene You Aren’t in Love With and Write a Couple of Alternatives to It
One thing that will hold me up every time is not being totally in love with a scene I just wrote. I will wonder if I will weaken my entire story to build off of it, thus, leaving me at a halt. I recently began going back and reading scenes I wasn’t completely satisfied with, and writing something really different to (perhaps) replace it. Some I ended up tossing, but I got some really good stuff out of this exercise.
Thank you so much for reading! I would love to hear about your favorite writing techniques/ exercises to get your creative juices flowing! Feel free to email me at email@example.com
Peace, Love, & Literature.
Michelle L. Taylor