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 As I’m still an unpublished amateur, I don’t want to tell people that you must write this way or that way.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.