Steps and Contrasts

Have you created a character all at once?

Thought so - me neither!

Does your writing always proceed smoothly?

Thought so - me neither!

Is there any writer who doesn't know how this feels? Pixabay

You build up a character a piece at a time. I hear characters before I can visualize them and that explains, I think, why I relish writing dialogue or internal thoughts.

The latter is useful for flash fiction as these convey attitude as well as information to propel the story. Double whammy as far as I'm concerned and no additional word count either.

So putting a story or article together must be in a series of steps then, given non-fiction has its characters too even if these are”just” the voices of the narrator/writer.

It will take time to work out where your writing journey will take you.  Pixabay

What can be frustrating is when those steps don't come together as smoothly as you would like. This is when it can be tough to have faith in the writing process.

Writing has to be a series of steps as you develop your characters and plot.  Pixabay
 When I get stuck, or as I prefer to think of it as being temporarily bogged down, I do the following:-

1. I put a piece of work away for a day or two, draft ideas for further stories, and come back to the initial idea. A break away can help enormously.

2. I read more than I usually do - stories, non-fiction, magazines, novels etc. As well as being a great thing to do anyway, I see this as feeding your own imagination.

3. I contrast what I thought the piece of work would be with how it is working out. Have I unintentionally gone off at a tangent? If so, is the tangent stronger than the original idea? If it is, I stop writing and do more outlining based on the new stronger idea. If it isn't, I go back to the original idea. I outline more than I used to do and this has helped me avoid this problem a lot of the time but it can still happen. It' s just a question of working out how to get around it.
Writing is not a straight black and white journey.  Using contrasts can be useful though.  Pixabay
4. If a character is proving problematic, I contrast what I like and dislike about them. I usually spot something in that which needs rectifying and away I go again.
The important thing is not to panic. Give yourself time to go through the steps of writing that have worked for you before. Be honest about what isn't working this time. Do bear in mind it is only this piece you are temporarily stuck on - it is a phase and will pass.

We all need to take time to recharge.  It will boost your writing later.  Pixabay

Above all, remember we're not writing machines. There are bound to be times when life gets in your way and that may well reflect in what you're writing. But nothing is wasted. You may well draw on those tough times to inspire your writing later.

Enjoy the steps in creating a new piece of work. Use contrasts to add depth to your characters and resolve issues.
Ideas have to be worked out, sometimes thrashed out!  I've yet to see a light appear above MY head like this!  Pixabay

Writing is like a word jigsaw. Get the corners right and fill in the gaps!