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Writing Strategy of the Day

Cheryl's Musings: Writing Strategy of the Day

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


Writing Strategy of the Day

When, for whatever reason, I'm stuck in a passage of writing, one of my favorite strategies is to make lists. Lists are a nonthreatening way for me to sidestep my internal editor; they let me collect concrete details about a scene, character, or plot line; and they help me slip into a state of flow, where words waterfall from my subconscious unhindered.

For setting? I list smells, tastes, feelings, and sounds as well as what my character sees. I also list my characters thoughts, emotional reactions.

For a conversation? I list phrases, information, snappy comebacks, snide remarks that might pop into the scene.

For a character description? I list physical details, smells (again--I'm big on smells), and sounds; but also analogies and metaphors I might use to encapsulate a key characteristic.

For character actions? I list what they're thinking about, how they're feeling, what memories the current events might draw to the surface.

No, I don't use every idea that hits my list--but I write them all down. That's part of the process of getting into flow and turning off that internal editor. When I'm finished, I usually have a nice collection of details that let me move the story forward.

Happy writing!




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