Unicorns Fart Jellybeans. Didn’t You Know? Oh Yeah, And Some Writing Advice.

Oh gosh look, my second piece of writing advice on this blog ever.

I told you I’d keep this blog relatively free of writing advice, because it’s my belief you should only take advice from people who have been paid to write, who have broken past gatekeepers and been acknowledged as knowing what they are doing. After all, it’s their profession. As I’m still an unpublished amateur, I don’t want to tell people that you must write this way or that way.

HOWEVER. I do have one bit of advice I think will be very useful. It’s not about how to write well or how to make interesting characters, or even how to write something that will sell. I can’t advise on quick fixes, and I can’t advise you on how to structure or write dialogue with subtext or make realistic consequences.

HOWEVER (again) please remember this advice next time you’re writing:

When you’re writing (as we, as writers, do) and you decide to pause for the night, DO NOT stop writing just because you’re not sure what comes next. Stop during something that you’re excited about or know exactly what’s going on. Stop when you know what you’re going to write next, and then go to sleep.

The reason for this is because when I pause after a resolution, I’m often looking for a way to step into the next conflict. Because I’ve taken a break in both the narrative and the writing process itself, my mind takes a break as well. I sit there staring at the screen, even if I’ve plotted it out, and wonder why my characters aren’t doing anything interesting.

You see, if I’d stopped when they were in the middle of a conflict, I’d be able to get back to writing the rest of that conflict the next day, then I’d break the seal (usually around 500 words for me, but it can differ) and the juices will flow again and the birds will sing and the butterflies will dance over the rainbow and unicorns will fart jellybeans. You know, all that happy stuff.

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Image courtesy of Catherine of Seen-and-Said.blogspot.com

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11 thoughts on “Unicorns Fart Jellybeans. Didn’t You Know? Oh Yeah, And Some Writing Advice.

  1. Archer says:

    But everybody knows Unicorns fart rainbows and poops Jellybeans!!!

    Good advice though… I need to attempt to write my steampunk assassin fantasy…. why won’t it write itself -le sigh-

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  2. Charlotte says:

    Nice tip. Though I contest your opening statement: in my opinion one should be careful about taking writing advice from anybody. Having had some third party in a fancy hat give you permission to call yourself a writer doesn’t mean much. There are many thousands of those people all saying different, and often conflicting, things.

    Ideas and swapping experiences are usually more or less okay, no matter who they come from, because tips given on the basis of ‘hey, try this if you’re stuck’ are comfortably casual. Anyone can share ideas. If it turns out to work for me, I don’t give a crap whether the person in question is ‘third party validated’ or not.

    Anyway, going back to the actual topic. Ahem. I wondered about trying this when I was recently working through the draft, because I’d get those days where I’d got to the end of something the day before and it took a while to get back into it when I started up again. However, the problem I had with leaving a scene in the middle is that the momentum I’d built up, the ideas I’d had while I was writing, deserted me in the night and I just ended up having the same feeling of disorientation anyway.

    Maybe it’s just me. I think I’m a slow starter when I first sit in front of my computer in a morning.

    PS. Steampunk assassin fantasy? Tell us more.

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    • Archer says:

      Yep Steampunk Assassin Fantasy… right… well you know how most fantasy is set very much in a medieval or super urban world with a fantasy land beneath… and is always from either the good guys or villains perspective depending upon author… well mines a little different.

      It’s about a young man (although that could change he could be a she) who comes from a line of assassins who have the sole purpose of maintaining the balance of good and evil in their world to stop things spiralling insanely out of control. So yes whilst there are wars the side that would maintain the balance always win. The assassins are neither light nor dark, good nor evil, they are grey, a fulcrum if you will on which existence balances.

      Except my main character, on his first task, kills the wrong person… and they have to fix it before their world unravels into nothing because everything is out of balance… I’m gonna try to make it amusing yet thought provoking… I hope…

      I just need to write it.

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  3. Archer says:

    shut up woman I’ll do it my own time. The plan for it got corrupted and so did the body of text when I had to fix my computer so I need to start from scratch

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  4. Cally Jackson says:

    Great advice. I’m a shocker for stopping once I don’t know what happens next, and you’re right, it definitely makes it harder next time I sit down to write!

    P.S. Jelly beans have suddenly lost their appeal…

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