I am back! I am back! Hello, hello, hello!
Gosh, it’s been so long since I wrote something for the blog. I know some of you have left me comments that I still haven’t responded to. Apologies! You see, the TPC family was sick with a Viral infection and a bug called ‘not in the write kind of mood’. But hopefully, I have put the sickness and the moodiness behind for good.
So as you may have noticed from the title, today I am sharing with you the one trick I have come to heavily rely on ever since I resumed work on my manuscript. But before I reveal that, I’d like to remind you (or announce, in case this is the first time you’re reading about it) that TPC had signed up as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
What is that?
It’s a website based support group, helmed by some very talented writers, editors, publishers and folks who have experience of the writing/publishing world. They offer support and advice to budding, insecure, doubting, underconfident or just curious writers, whichever stage of writing they may be in. The Group works on the basis of advisory articles and blog posts, group discussions, contests and much, much more all published to help insecure writers (what an apt title) deal with difficulties in their writing process.
This is an amazing group that I would recommend to any budding writer.
Click and sign up. I’m sure you won’t regret it.
Every first Wednesday of the month is IWSG Day and members have the option to write a blog post dedicated to the month’s question. This month’s question is –
What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?
Now I am so far away from publishing my work that I haven’t even thought about publishing yet, let alone consider it. So I won’t be answering the question, but this blog post is my first contribution to #IWSG.
This month’s kind hosts are –
Do check out their websites for sound advice on writing.
Moving on to the subject of this blog post, if you have been writing for some time, especially when you have a firm-enough outline of your story and have been working on it for some time (I’m talking about going beyond the first few paragraphs of the first chapter), you know that there will be parts in the story that will feel like a bore to write about. You know those parts that we wish someone else would write for us, because oh, who wants to write about the school hall where the protagonist sees her crush for the first time, or the eighth cousin of her extended family who has only a very small role in the story, or about the daily grind of the protagonist just before the villain enters the scene. You wish you had a magic wand that would write down all the mundane for you like Rita Skeeter’s tattler pen. Yes, those parts!
I wish all of writing could be as exciting as it is when we write about the six-pack abs of the handsome next door neighbour, or the doe-eyed beauty of our protagonist, or even the thrilling battle scenes in our fantasies; and I wish I could tell you that as a writer, it is your sworn duty to give as much love and care to each and every part of your story and each and every character of your story, but in truth, we do get stuck at places in the writing process where we deem certain details too boring to write down, while at the same time mentioning them is crucial to maintaining a flow in the story. Your brain wants to write, but it just doesn’t cooperate with writing those parts!
What do you do when you hit a roadblock because of those uninteresting bits?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind!
Seriously, let it blow… or flow. Let your brain waves create those more interesting parts while your fingers hungrily type them down. Let the ideas for the parts that you want to write about flow out of you. Pen them down first. Do not let your writing process hit a dead end because you find yourself unable to write about something you deem uninteresting.
Write what interests you first.
I get very less time to write in a day. I have to ration my time out for a lot of things and writing, unfortunately, gets a very tiny window of my time. And if in that tiny window, I have a boring topic to write about, nine out of ten times, I just abandon the project till a later stage when I have either more time or inclination to write about that boring bit. But I had noticed that because of this practice, for days on end there would be no progress on the draft. Days would run into weeks and weeks into months, eventually leading to the project being shelved altogether. I don’t know how many stories are languishing in my drafts folder because of this very reason.
But with my present project I had decided earlier on that I would write down scenes, dialogues or just about anything that I wanted to put into the manuscript, the moment they come to me. And I have been doing this faithfully, penning down certain sections that I would love to include in the story even if chronologically they appear much, much later in the story. Heck, I already have my ending penned down!
There are three things that this practice enables –
Keeps you on the project –
What this practice enables is continuity in the writing process while keeping interest in and tempo for the project up, so that even if you reach a point where you don’t feel like working on a certain aspect of the book, you’re not abandoning the project, waiting for inspiration to find you; you instead find inspiration in the bits that interest you. Either way, you end up working on the manuscript, which is the most important thing anyway when you’re writing your draft.
Fill In The Gaps –
The other thing this practice helps with is that by the time you come to the boring bits, you generally have the more interesting bits already written down, so that you’re left with filling the gaps between the interesting or unwritten parts, and then editing/re-writing the previously written parts. Trust me, this way the boring parts get written down much faster than when you drag your feet over it, stopping work on the rest of your project as well. Because you have something exciting coming up, it becomes bearable to work on the boring parts.
Saves Times –
I think this is self-explanatory. You not only save time by writing down the exciting parts beforehand, you also save time because filling the gaps is faster than groping in the dark for a way out.
This trick works best for those writers who plan ahead, ensuring that the plot is outlined before the writing commences because if you don’t have a basic outline, you may end up writing random sections that eventually may turn out to be unuseful for the story, though that too has its own benefits, as I’ll explain later. And you may argue that by the time you come to the filling-the-gaps-stage, your pre-written sections may need changes, or worse still, may become entirely useless. Well, my writer friend, editing is the bane of a writer’s existence as much as a writer’s block is. So edit, snip or retain, either way, you have already written out parts of your draft. Also, those ‘useless write-ups’ serve as writing practice. I don’t see the downside in any of it!
Put a hand on your heart and swear that you will get back to those sneaky boring parts because they won’t write themselves down; you will have to do it at some point in the writing of your draft if you truly intend to finish your work. This trick might just make it more bearable for you.
And yes, there is something called treating each and every part and character of your work with equal love and care, because they are a part of your book! A good writer maintains the same level of care and detail throughout the book. Of course, you can cheat, but even cheating requires care!
So this is it from my side. Write me your thoughts in the comments section and share with the readers what you do to help you write those nasty parts down. Also, don’t forget to visit the #IWSG website for great writing advice.
Once again, here’s the link.
Copyright ©2018 Pradita Kapahi.
All rights reserved.
Featured Image: Free-Images at Pixabay.