Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We've all been there....

Q&A Time!! =)

A reader recently asked:

I have a basic plot, setting & characters sketched out. From the writing class I took I don't know what else I need before jump into writing. I've decide to do just that - take the leap & write. Except, I'm stuck. I have the first scene & then I don't know what to write even though I know some conflict that I want to happen, I'm having a hard time filling in the blanks.

Good choice. Definitely dive in and start writing. Sometimes just getting your fingers flowing over the keyboard will bring on creativity and new ideas of what to do next. But if that isn't enough, consider making a more detailed synopsis. Some writers are very much seat of the pants and can't stand writing by a planned summary (Hi Erynn!!! wink) but other authors really do need that structure to be able to relax and dig into the story. So maybe you are one of those (I tend to be!) If that's the case, try to go beyond basic in your planning stages and get a little bit better idea of what is going to happen. A basic plot is good but it won't be enough to keep you from staring at your screen saying "hmmmmmmmmmmm". =)

Synopsis can be nightmares to write but once they are done and you have that outline to follow, they are golden!!

The samereader also mentioned - Do you think the best thing I can do is just TRY to write something along that line, even if it sucks? I'm so afraid of sucking that I procrastinate waiting for the BIG idea.

Don't procrastinate. That's the worst thing a writer can do. I believe the best ideas stem from simply writing - even writing "bad" ideas. lol Your brain is a muscle of sorts, you need to exercise it! Use it. Let the creativity then flow. I really think just diving in will help. Or maybe the synopsis will as I mentioned before. Figure out what works for YOU and do that. Don't worry about what works for someone else. Find your game plan and stick to it. Motivate yourself with rewards or bribes or whatever you respond best too. (After I write 500 words in one sitting, I will go get a piece of chocolate) or etc.

And finally, our loyal reader says: I've done the above & then because I think I'm not good I delete it. That's a bad habit. Is it wise to keep what I've written in hopes that it'll help build another scene?

Step away from the delete key!!! Seriously, don't delete it. If it bothers you to see that scene lingering or makes you feel like its hanging over you or something, then just keep a file folder in your computer documents labeled "scraps" so you can always go back, just in case! You can always clean out that folder once a year when you know you won't use or need any of those scenes. But deleting something in the heat of the "Man, I suck!" moment isn't helpful, because typically, after you view it with fresh eyes after a few days, it won't be nearly as bad as you thought it was. Promise! =)

But defintely don't let insecurity confuse your talent. You ARE a writer. Every writer needs to grow. The fact that you are trying means you are growing! Keep growing. Keep trying. Rinse and repeat.


  1. Great post Betsy! I've been struggling with some of these things too. Im too worried on being bad at it that I psych myself out, but I really am trying to set those doubts aside & write SOMETHING.
    It's good to know I'm doin the right thing.
    I think your the first author say they were a planner! I may be in the middle. I've tried to outline the biggest things, what needs to happen to get from A to B & then fill in the blanks by the seat of my pants