Today I’d like to talk about writing tricks. We all have them, whether they be for getting the work to flow, or jump starting a character, goosing a sagging plot, or keeping the writing fresh after a few books. And what works for one writer may work for others- so please play along!
I’d have to say my biggest “trick” is writing sprints, with NaNoWriMo being the biggest sprint of them all. Ok, in reality it’s a marathon, but it’s a series of sprints or it won’t work ;).
Sprints are my way of working past whatever part of my daily mundane life is interfering with my writing. You can do them alone, or with friends. I’ve seen pro writers shout out writing sprints on the hour or half hour on twitter. Folks join in, then report their count when the time is up. Sometimes the stuff produced is amazing- other times, not so much- but it’s SOMETHING- and it usually gets the juices flowing. Besides, everyone loves a little competition!
Another “trick” is jumping. Sometimes I’ll just have images for amazing scenes pop in my head- of course they are often nowhere near where I am in the story at hand. I usually follow through on writing them though- then during editing piece things together. It’s a great trick for when you feel like you’re stuck or the story is feeling blah. (And probably would give most plotters the hives, so if you’re one of them- don’t do it ;)).
Lastly, if I have a difficult character I try to take them out of the context of my story and find out what they like in our world. What music would they like? How would they dance? What foods? Since pretty much I write characters not of our world, seeing them in our settings (in my head) often helps me get a better grasp on my otherworldly folks (besides it’s fun ;).
Sooooo- now it's YOUR turn- what are some tricks or "best practices" (to steal from the cubical world ;)) you use to keep your writing moving and growing?