Thursday, May 31, 2012

Just Tell the Story

Just tell the story.

The other day I was in a panic. In order to meet the deadline for my next book I was having to slam down 1000 to 1500 words a day. 1000 words is fairly doable if you don't get a brain cramp or if the dog doesn't decide to have gastro-intestinal problems. But, if any major or minor intrusion thwarts your productivity, you're in trouble. If you only get 800 words done then the next day you have to do 1200 or 1700 words, and then the next day you have to do 1400 or 1900 words. You get the picture, right?

In my pursuit of word count, my novel suffered a terrible fate--loss of story. Why had the characters become flat and lifeless? Why was the plot lost in no-man's-land? Why was the pace like walking through tar? Worrying about the word count threw me into the land of the left brain. Numbers live on the left side of the brain, while word pictures, emotion, and color live on the right.

Ahhh...pretty colors!

I set my computer aside, went for a walk, and ate some chocolate. When I returned to the house my brain was full of sights, sounds, and oxygen.


I picked up a pencil and sat down with an old friend--a piece of paper. For the next three hours I swam in the rich world of imagination. No word count, just  plunging into the story. It was a spa day for my creativity.

I'd love to hear some of the ways you get over writer's brain freeze, or just fun ways to get over the doldrums. It would be great to have a list of remedies to pull from the next time the word count gets in the way of the story.

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