Thursday, May 20, 2010

Writing is Not Always Writing

People who are not writers often think that writing means you have to be sitting at your desk, scratching out brilliant lines of prose. Not so. I was thinking today about all the valuable writing-related things that help in creating my novels:

1)  Staring off into space, wondering about what comes next. This can lead to making notes of possibilities, journalling about my story, or even working on an outline.

2)  Trying out activities that my characters do to make sure they actually work. (Okay, not all of them, but some. If my character is only a few cm tall, could she hold a raspberry? Or, could a character build walls using popsicle stick squares covered with paper? My kids love helping with these investigations!) Maybe this is why my latest WIP involves cooking.

3)  Checking out baby name books and sites to find the right names for my characters.

4)  Reading lots of fiction to find examples of how other authors use POV, structure their plots, develop their characters etc.

What non-writing activities help you with your writing?

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  1. So so true! Daydreaming is actually really important but I have a hard time sitting still long enough to do this. This is probably why I find running helps my writing because I'm daydreaming and doing something at the same time.

  2. I do several non-writing things that help when I'm stuck. I find taking a long, hot soak in the tub helps. Doing something physical, like going for a walk (at the mall!! LOL) or going to taekwondo class help, too. Sometimes, getting up to clean or put dishes away or something else completely mundane helps me focus on my WIP.

  3. Agreed! Another one I'd add to the list is reading craft books. I always get ideas for things to try in my writing from reading about craft. It's also fun to reread craft books because I always find something new in them depending on the project I'm working on.

  4. All of the above! Especially 1 and 3. I'm also big on craft books. The craft of writing, that is. :)

  5. Yeah, reading craft books is something I should do more of. I like re-reading them, too, Anna. The advice never gets stale.


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