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As a new author, I have found that my writing process is different for just about every book that I start. Some books that I’ve written have taken years to write, while there was one instance where I wrote an entire book in six weeks. Like most writers, I have more than a handful of books saved to my hard-drive that I started a while ago and have not finished. Some of those projects may never get finished, but that’s okay. This is all a part of the writing process. But what process is most affective? How do I get started when I have an underdeveloped plot? How do I overcome writer’s block? And how do I finally finish my book once I’ve started it? So far, I have successfully authored 4 books, and I feel that I’m just getting started. Completing a novel or memoir is an outstanding accomplishment and something that one can be proud of. It isn’t until you type that last word and can pen “The End” or in some cases “To Be Continued” that you are able to fully understand your writing process.
What motivated you to start your project? Sure, you had a good idea; one that friends and family members thought was amazing when you told them about it. Or maybe your friends and family thought your idea was stupid and that you were crazy for thinking that you could be an author. Maybe you chose to not tell anyone because you doubted that this was something that you could really do. All you wanted to do was prove to yourself that you could finish a book. What motivated you to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write what was on your mind? Maybe you want to inspire people. Maybe you think that you’re naturally talent and you just want to show the world what you have. Or maybe the stories in your head and the characters in them are so real that you have no other choice but to give them life by telling the world their story. Finding your motivation, whatever it may be, is very important. Without a motivating factor, you will never get started, and getting started is just the first step.
How do you overcome writer’s block? All writers have hit this theoretical wall at some point. How do you break through it? There are a few ways to get over writer’s block. One option is to just wait. Stop writing for a week or so and allow the story to marinate in your mind. Sometimes taking a break from your story can allow some of the greatest ideas that you’ve ever thought of to find their way to the forefront of your mind, and it could end up revolutionizing your entire novel. Another option is to skip the part of the story that you’re having trouble completing and move on to the next part. This is a technique that I use often and it comes in handy when you are trying to meet a deadline. A lot of times I have full chapters already written for a book before I begin chapter one. This is totally okay, and it can actually help you stay on track as a writer. Writing up to prewritten chapters can help your story flow better if you do it correctly. My last tip for overcoming writer’s block is to just force yourself to write something; anything. You can always go back and change it later.
Seeing The Finish Line
One of the most encouraging parts of the writing process is when you’re about 80% done and you know exactly how your book is going to end. Being able to see the finish line is almost as exciting as getting there. At this point, the hard part is over. You know everything that you need to know about your plot and the characters, and you know mostly everything that you need to know about yourself as an author. To me, arriving at the finish line and completing your project is also you arriving at the realization that your career as an author is real and you are more than capable of doing it!
Written By D.D. Bridges 11/4/16
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