Just getting started

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Writing over the last year has mostly been a struggle to get started.

That’s gotten easier. Most of what I write now, I’m not quite sure it’s going to be something I type into the manuscript (/Scrivener). I just think of them as exercises, idea generation. Still, a lot of these exercises have become usable material, either in a scene or simply as character insight.

I write my first drafts, of most everything (including blog posts) in longhand. I just find it easier to drop into my creative mindset that way. Then I type in what makes the cut, and sometimes I do keep typing the scene, once the floodgates have opened.

One technique I’ve used this week is character A addresses character B. It goes on and on, as that character expresses his inner world to the other character. A surprising amount of that has turned into scene dialogue.

I’ve also been using other fiction to get me started. No, not copying. Rather, I examine things like paragraph structure and try to write something that mimics that structure. (I was getting into an awfully repetitive pattern: character acts, then speaks; Character responds, then acts.)

I’ve also learned to keep an eye out for small turns of phrase that can help me say things a different way. Yesterday, I made note of the phrase, “she said grimly,” and will use that as my jumping-off point today.

What is happening to my characters right now, that will lead one to say something grimly? I already have an idea, but I bet it will be different once I actually start writing it. That is what makes writing such fun for me, now I’ve let go of strict outlining. I am curious about what happens next.

I am on an adventure. 🙂

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