Look at that. I actually have an SEO conscious post title for once. What a concept.
I live on computers. Seriously. From the time I sit down with my breakfast at 7:30 in the morning, all through the workday, and usually large chunks of the evening until I hit the hay at 10, I am at a computer (minus cooking time, commuting, and exercise). I type like a demon and my handwriting blows, so most of what I do writing wise, at every stage, is done on a computer. Grad school ruined whatever penmanship I had, so I very rarely write stuff down by hand. I’ve got a writing journal where I record a lot of my thoughts and stuff about my writing journey, but that’s it.
This past week, I decided to unplug some and go old school, settling in with a brand new spiral notebook and a new set of Frixion pens to hammer out details of my plot for Red. It’s been a refreshing way to brainstorm. Instead of necessarily focusing on answering the questions just right, I’ve done a lot of freewriting spew as things occur to me. A lot of it is stream of consciousness, talking to myself (as Pot is not always at my beck and call), and the surprising thing is that I’ve generated a lot of great ideas. I generated a lot of crappy ideas in there too, but still. It’s got my brain flowing, considering, thinking about this plot. I think we’re on the 4th incarnation of my outline for Red, and we’re nearly there, to the point where I’m ready to start sketching scenes.
Last night Pot hadn’t yet had a chance to look at that latest incarnation, so I decided to work on my plot problems with Devil’s Eye during my evening sprints with Claire. I already told y’all that I’d concluded my villain was the problem in this story. He’s flat. He wants power but I don’t know why and it just wasn’t working for me. I didn’t have a great deal of motivation as I sat down to work on it, so instead of opening any of my existing notes or blueprints, I just snagged a legal pad and one of my new pens (purple, in case you wanted to know) and started scribbling.
And a funny thing happened in between my circling around the problem and repeated myself, going over and over what he could want from my heroine. I figured out some alternatives to him wanting to steal her power. Alternatives that require actual action rather than just investigation and minion fighting to get from the first plot point to the resolution. I haven’t made up my mind if I’m going to go with either of these alternatives yet, but they certainly seem to fit better than what I have. So I’m going to keep chewing on it.
Are you stuck on a computer all the time? Are you stuck in your WIP? Take a break, step away, and grab a pad and pen and start writing. Notes, observations, questions, whatever. I’m particularly fond of playing “What if?” and following these scenarios through in a logical manner. However you work, breaking out of the norm and doing things differently is likely to have a positive result and just might jar you out of your stuck.