Sidetrack - has anyone else been watching the Andrew Lloyd Webber You Tubes? The free shows over the weekends? I've see a couple, but of course I was late arriving and missed the one I STILL HAVEN'T SEEN.
I'm diligently working on my next Hillendale novel. These are strange times we live in, and words are sometimes difficult to muster with all the distractions and anxiety that comes with every single news cycle. My critique partner just did a blog post on how to keep writing when it's hard to keep writing. For the most part, she was spot on, and I agree with her processes (You can read it here.) One thing I had to add to her lists is "just keep writing."
When the words won't come, I first try a change of scenery. A walk around the block with my characters. I talk to them, they talk to me. Except when they don't (or when I'm walking with the Big Guy, in which case, he drowns them out). When that doesn't work, I consider plot points - what I call "notes for what comes next." It gives me a direction to think, but there are still days when turning those plot points into paragraphs is a chore. So then what?
I write. Cue the Led Zeppelin song. I Ramble On. I can't even tell you how I get started, I just put my fingers on the keyboard and let stream of consciousness run. Ramble on.
Sometimes, rambling results in something new and different than I wasn't expecting. That's always a bonus. But almost always, it is a blast of sentences strung together, sometimes repetitive, sometimes redundant, sometimes run-on. I throw in information that doesn't add anything. I throw in stuff that makes no sense. But there's always gold hiding inside the slag. When I've reached my word count for the day, I can go back and sift out the sludge. You can fix bad writing. You can't fix an empty page.
So my writing advice for today? Ramble on. There's a story hiding inside the influx of words, and once you get them down, you can find the gold.
While you're here, can I remind you that the new release will be out NEXT WEEK? (Yes, I'm very excited!) An enchanted weeping beech tree, a white squirrel, a summer solstice festival. Calling on magic comes with UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES!
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