Monday, March 23, 2009

Go with the flow

The question I get asked most in writing groups and other places where writing gets discussed is how can I wrote so much on a daily basis. I write anywhere up to seven thousand words a day when I am writing a manuscript and people often suggest that is a lot.

I had to think about why I am able to do that as until people started asking me I did not realise that was not necessarily normal. I guess there are broadly two reasons for my ability to churn out words and I will cover them both over my next two posts.

Today I want to talk about going with the flow. That is the first area in which some writers I have had long discussions with seem to vary from what I do. That si to say they do not go with the flow in the manner I do. Writers often get caught up in the need to paint the picture, to describe the setting so the reader can feel as though they are there. This is an important part of writing and perhaps one I do not do as well as some of the greats but to my mind it is also something that can slow a writer down, bog them down and get in the way of the story.

Have you ever thought about going back and adding it in later? Maybe even at the end of your writing session.

One of the reasons the words rush onto the page when I am writing and in the midst of a great scene is because I let the story flow. The action happens around me and through me and I do not get in its way. I amy come back later and make a few changes when the characters have all settled down and gone to bed for the night and that is when I can best paint the picture. If I try to do it when the characters are all in full swing they will either take over and force their wzy top the front or they will sulk and go off and hide. Then when I come back looking for them I have trouble finding them.

Perhaps for some people that seems a little bit like writer's block, but as I don't get it that would be hard for me to say. Maybe I don't get it because I don't allow things to get in the way of the flow.

So my first piece of advice for those who struggle to get a lot of words onto the screen in a writing session (and remember I do the washing and cook the dinner in between my seven thousand words) is to go with the flow and let the story rush onto the screen. But please don't forget to paint the picture at some point.

I am trying harder to paint the picture and not to ignore it just because I love the role of story teller, and if I can make myself paint the picture maybe you can let yourself go with the flow.


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