On this blog every Tuesday and Friday I write about story techniques, structure, and/or publishing. Comments and questions are welcome. I also have a personal blog, Amy Deardon, on which I write about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy.

I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research.

My book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story, is now available in both hard-copy and e-book formats. I also coach would-be novelists and screenwriters to develop their story. YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

I run into this a lot -- someone tells me that they're blocked so are writing X number of words per day. The brute force method CAN work, but often it just results in page after page of drivel. If you're consistently frustrated, step back to figure out what are your problems.

Take a writing session to make some progress. Start your session with this sentence: I'm having trouble with this story because... then write your thoughts quickly. Talk to yourself. Is it that your story isn't holding together? Your characters seem flat? You're just bored with what's going on?

Now make a list and choose the most important problem to start. Take a day or two to go through your writing library to see how other writers have handled this problem. Solve it. Then move to the next.

Remember that writing lots of words is a laudatory activity, but repeatedly banging your head against the wall won't help you. Work smarter, not harder.

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