The Parts You’re Afraid to Write

Before I get started writing a story or novel, I always have those parts which excite me. You know what I’m talking about. The inspirational part driving the whole thing in the first place. The Spark. The Beautiful Mistress. Maybe it’s a character arc or a climactic scene that changes everything. Maybe it’s a big, surprising reveal in the story. Somewhere along the way you come up with an idea and say, “That’s it! Wouldn’t it be so cool to write that scene?”

Well, you’re 50,000 words into the story and you finally reach the penultimate moment. It’s all come together for this one part. It’s your time to shine. Your time to make it a magical piece of writing.

But, suddenly, you buckle and collapse under the pressure. Writer’s block takes hold. The one part you were waiting to write, your beautiful mistress has metamorphosed into a gargantuan eight-tentacled slug beast with gallons of slime falling off of its gelatinous flesh.

Two Weeks In

It’s been two weeks since I gave up social media. And I’ve never been happier. First, let’s talk about the some of the interesting side effects of not being plugged in all the time.

When you’re constantly checking social media, you know everything that’s going on in all your family and friends lives, and even some of your not-so-friends and mostly just random acquaintances lives, too. Before social media, my brain took it for granted that it would never know everything that’s going on. Not knowing gave it a lot more space for other stuff. But, after social media, the brains like, “Holy crap, I can know tons of stuff about all the people you care about. Let’s just jack into this 24/7, okay?” Sure, brain. Whatever you say.

Embracing Boredom

Recently, I’ve been wondering why I haven’t been more creative. For a long time, I’ve been able to churn out tons of ideas for stories. I’d put them in my notes and log them away for later. Those ideas have slowly faded. Nothing would come so easily. Maybe I’m just in a dry spell, I thought. You can’t always have inspiration 24/7. It’ll come. Just be patient. 

It never came back.

In fact, it started creeping into my writing life as well. I haven’t had writer’s block in a long time, probably not since college. My writer’s block lasted over a month. For me, that’s not acceptable.

So, what was wrong?

A Month Without Social Media

Recently, I’ve made two challenges for myself:

  1. Do not look at Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media account for an entire month starting July 24th.
  2. Read at least two books during that month.

The goal is to be able to get my head in the right place, devouring more words on the page and also setting aside time to write. Social media obviously can become an addictive time suck but I think it also gets my head in the wrong places and kills my productivity.

Already I’ve noticed a difference and a change in my thinking and my motivations. And over the course of the month, I’ll blog once in a while, detailing how it’s going over all.

The end result I’d like to see is an increase in productivity in both reading and writing.

Fooled by Mr. Keating: Embracing Plot Structure

Previously, I wrote about how I defied rules and structure in my writing in Fooled by Mr. Keating. Some might call this style “post-modern” writing and I certainly had my head entrenched in that school of thought. It was not to my benefit. I think it makes sense to dig a little deeper. Let’s talk about plot structure in fiction writing.

Before we get into it, I want to make clear no potential genre novelist wants to be a post-modern writer.

Why not?

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