Hello everyone! I'm Kelsey Bryant. This is my first time to post here, and I am excited and honored to join the Word Painters! All these writers give us such valuable advice, and I hope I can always offer you something worthwhile as well.
So many aspects of writing are pure fun—coming up with ideas, creating characters, playing with words—but other aspects are fun alloyed with hard, sometimes daunting, work. However, that only makes them the more satisfying! Would you say finishing a manuscript, down to the last plot hole concealed somewhere in the middle, is somewhere near the top of the “challenging” list?
Sometimes they seem to write themselves, but we’ve all had stories that don’t cooperate so nicely. If these tales indeed need to be told, how can we pin them down to paper when they just want to fly away?
It takes me a long time to write a manuscript, but I have discovered methods to keep me engaged, enthusiastic, and creative so I can persevere to the end:
Outline and plan ahead. I like to outline my stories because that provides me a clear image of what needs to happen without wading through the clutter of story narrative. But even if you are someone who writes to discover the story instead of plotting it all out ahead, sometimes writing out your thoughts (or frustrations!) about where the story needs to go is just what you need to move you forward.
Give your creativity some TLC. Take time to get excited about your story again. Read something that inspired you in the first place, listen to music that fits your story, look at pictures that remind you of it, talk to someone understanding, imaginative, and who could help you!
Add something to your story. A character, an exciting situation, a plot twist … maybe in planning ahead you missed that empty space in the middle of your book, and it really does need to be filled.
Reread what you have. How far back you reread depends on how stuck you are! You can edit it a little (don’t get too critical unless there’s a problem with the whole thing), which helps give you the feel of writing it again and returns you to the mode of creating. Often I’ve gone back and reread a portion, lightly editing as I went, and when I reached the area I had abandoned, I went right on typing.
It certainly takes self-discipline, but nothing beats the fun and satisfaction of finishing the story you set out to write! What are your tricks for keeping yourself motivated to persevere to the end? I’d love to pick up something new!
Kelsey Bryant is an author, blogger, and copy editor who loves the Lord. She revels in many things: the beauty of God's Word, the music of English, the wonder of nature, the joy of creativity, the freedom of motion, the richness of literature, the intrigue of history ... and much more. To learn more about her, visit her website or blog.