March 18, 2009

Five Simple Steps to Finish Writing Your Stories

Okay I admit it - I'm a procrastinator. I get tons of ideas and don't finish many of them.

How to avoid this? How to finish a project?

I realize that besides procrastination, sometimes it's boredom that keeps me from finishing a story. Wow. If I'm bored, what will readers think?

No, it's not that the story is boring. I just lose interest in writing it.

So, a few simple tips I learned while writing to keep myself moving forward:

1. If a story isn't working, move on to another. That boredom means I need to let it sit for a while and go back to it later. Usually works.

2. Write a short description. Get to know the characters. A character sheet helps you fill in those little blank spaces. It helps if you know who is in your story and not just the what, where and why.

3. Do an outline. I need an outline so I know where I'm going. Doesn't mean it's set in stone. I do change things along the way or add things as new ideas emerge or I think of something that fits better. At least I have a road map to work from.

4. Make a list. I'm a list maker. There's something satisfying about checking things off. When you feel you aren't getting anywhere, you can check something off or look at what you've done. Makes you realize you have accomplished something.

5. Stew on it. Let the story idea simmer. I usually need to "stew" on an idea a while. If the story isn't fully formed in my head, then I lose interest in it or am not sure where to go with it.

Simple, right?

** What are your simple suggestions to keep your story (or book) going? How do you stay motivated?


Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I need to write a bit everyday. If I'm stuck, I rewrite a previous chapter or scene and sometimes that opens the way for what needs to happen next.

Jane Kennedy Sutton

Anonymous said...

I write a little (or a lot) each day. I also write notes to myself about ideas I have and where I think the story line is going.