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#2 The early stages
Discipline has not been my forte when it comes to writing. As I have mentioned previously, I have a very rigid writing style, and normally, if the time isn't right then it's not time to write.
Writing the novella has been a little different though. I've discovered that if I don't keep up my momentum, I could easily start to lose the direction of my story.
I've found that recently to be honest - up until starting these blog posts, in fact. I had a good, strong stint of writing frequently, where I was making time to write, and was committed to my story. But, as we all know too well, life can get in the way - or so we tell ourselves... Often, I find that that is just my own excuse for being scared to be committed to my story. Before I knew it, my novella hadn't been updated in over a month.
Writing the novella has been very different from writing a short story for me. With the short story, I have the whole nutshell encapsulated in my mind before I even have chance to blink, so when it comes to writing it, I can keep momentum.
The novella is different. It isn't over in the space of a blink of an eye. It's drawn out. It teases memories out of the air as slowly as threading a needle. It takes time, and patience.
What helps is to exercise your mind weekly if you can - not necessarily on your novella itself - but by writing something every week, you'll find you'll stimulate your story and leave work desperate for the commute to hurry and pass so that you can get back at your keyboard.
Take a look at this nifty little inspirational diagram below:
There are some really important points to take on board here - these are what I am now trying to do daily:
- Write on your commute to work. Describe the people you see; the morning you've had; the breakfast you ate; the dream that woke you up; the mistake you made at work yesterday
- Record your memories. Write down your childhood memories. Memories are a goldmine. Writing what you know really does make your story more authentic.
- Learn about something new. Wallpaper making; Aristotle; the history of the tudors. Learning not only stimulates your mind, but also really helps to add depth to your characters' interests, to places - little details that make your story so much more convincing.
The main tip I'd stress is to write every week. It doesn't need to be everyday - sometimes life really does get in the way (I swear!) but keep your momentum.
It'll help you in the early stages. It'll help you to maintain faith in your story.