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New tricks

I’ve been looking through some unfinished stories lately, trying to decide which to line up for finishing. The one I have picked to go first was started more than a year ago (possibly two!) but I had this thought about it and found myself hunting it out, reading it, and actually enjoying what I found. I thought I had written more on it though because it’s still pretty clear in my mind. I know how it ends, I know all the things that happen in the rest of the story – it’s just a matter of starting.

Now, this is where the new trick comes in. It’s pretty handy, and I am sure most of you already know it, but if not, I thought I’d mention it here just in case it helps someone else.

It’s also a cure for a block as well, because I used it to help me finish yesterday’s short story.

You DELETE until you get to a place where you can write again.

Yes, I know it sounds counterproductive to delete parts of your story, but I’m telling you it works!

With the story yesterday I started going in a direction I shouldn’t have. It was too logical and not what needed to happen, so I deleted several sentences until I felt like I was back on track and sure enough, where before I had been feeling a ย little blocked, now the story flowed.

With this new unfinished story it’s been so long since I touched it that I didn’t know where to start (despite knowing what happens), so I deleted the last few lines and started writing. Even if what you write is a form of what was already there, the fact that you ARE writing, putting words down on the page means that it’s easier to continue.

Oh, we writers have to have our tricks ๐Ÿ˜‰

In other news, I think I’m officially calling this Lauren’s 9 month growth spurt. Why did no one warn me? I’m exhausted, she’s been feeding almost hourly for the last two days and no wonder she’s cranky, with teething going on as well. Awesome! I made hubby look after the girls this morning and had a sleep for an hour and a half, so while I am feeling less zombie-esqe, I need to hunt me out some coffee.

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7 thoughts on “New tricks”

  1. [haha, not sure I’ll be deleting bits
    of my stories, I know what I’m like,
    I’ll probably forget everything the
    second I go over what I delelted]

    [but, good luck on finishing the story,
    what made you not complete it the
    first time if you knew how everything
    was going to go?]

    1. it was depressing… lol I mean, the story isn’t ultimately depressing, but it deals with suicide, and I just wasn’t in the right space to finish it at that point in time. Who knows, when I’m done maybe I’ll stick it up!

      1. [yeah stick it up, I always love reading new things,
        I’m not that great at writing stories, at the moment
        I’m trying to write one but don’t actually have
        any idea how its going to end, the first chapter is
        somewhere on my blog, but then again, since that
        went up I re-wrote it, so it’s kinda out of date]

        [well like I said I hope you finish it, and I’d love
        to read it when you’re done] :]

  2. Hehe thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    The only way to get better is to write more! I’m not the best short story writer, but I definitely think I’m getting better.

  3. I agree that deleting stuff helps, but I’m honor-bound to say that you really should make a backup copy before you break out the scalpel (or the machete).

    Of course, I made a backup of the first draft of my novel as soon as I wrote the ending (“So, do we get to live happily ever after?” “We get to try.”). Doing this allowed me to begin the second draft without any preconceived notions regarding continuity or structure, and has allowed me to refine my story and its structure.

    It also lets me name chapters after cool rock songs, like “Fire of Unknown Origin” and “When You Don’t See Me”. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Oh yes, always make copies ๐Ÿ™‚ And always start new drafts in a new document.
      Great way to name chapters btw! I always thought it would be fun to name them, but hey, I have to actually write in chapters to begin with! I’m about to break Lifelines into chapters, so who knows….

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