What happens when inspiration is MIA? I’m not talking about traditional writer’s block. It’s more the sense of ennui that can lead you to an unhealthy relationship with Netflix. You’ve written the first draft, and then you get stuck. Or maybe your new project has lost its lustre halfway through.
Conflict as inspiration
How much personal conflict is in your daily life? Conflict in this example is when two (or more) people want different things.
How much is not enough?
In great writing, every word counts. There’s no need for extraneous sentences. Dialogue starts at the last possible moment and finishes once the point is made. But there is a balance between using words sparingly and leaving the reader unsatisfied.
Following your characters
Getting to know a new character could be like hiking: you follow a map, you get to the destination. The writer leads the charge, using a well drawn “map” to take the characters on a journey. In my experience, character development is more often like hiking with a map drafted five hundred years ago.
Finding the child writer within
I like minimalism, and I dislike clutter. Yet, I had box upon box of paperwork languishing in storage that I knew I would one day have to wade through. Not just tax returns, but tree upon tree of written words. No doubt you have the same, if you are writer. Maybe it is all of your hand-corrected drafts that you can’t throw out in case you need to go back and find that one stroke of genius that you shouldn’t have deleted?! I found some of those, and through gritted teeth, recycled them.
Writing, “bird by bird”
the world to write, and all the motivation – I had just signed up to a screenwriting class, and this was required reading. But it wasn’t until years later that I truly appreciated just how true the sentiments and advice really are. Writing every day is hard. It doesn’t matter how much you love it, there are distractions that are just somehow that much more interesting and important. Sometimes those distractions are real, but often they are just excuses.