New Year Writing Strategies

It’s the new year, and people are thinking about resolutions, changing their lives, and expanding their horizons. Those are great goals to aspire and work toward. I’ve even been working on a few of my own in various parts of my life. Then I wondered how I could apply those lofty ideas to my writing.

Organize

How is the plot moving along? Are scenes jumping around like popping corn or fireworks exploding in the night sky? It might be a good time for a read through to see if your story is going where you want it to. Sometimes the characters take matters into their own hands, so to speak (mine do!). I rely on my trusty plot clock and outline to keep things moving as planned (with minor detours here and there – it keeps my characters happy if they know they get their way every now and then). Use whatever method works for you to keep things on track.

De-Clutter

This idea brings to mind the draft of my work-in-progress. Are the sentences too wordy, too full of detail? I love sensory details and sometimes get carried away scattering them everywhere. Now is a good time to print out a hard copy, arm yourself with a red pen, and cross out those that are just taking up space and word count. I can keep what gives the reader a mind’s view of the scene and gather up the excess to use somewhere else. Great details are never a waste!

Get Moving

Has a particular part of the story become too sedate and comfortable where it is? Curled up with an afghan in front of the TV? Well, it might be a great spot for your readers, but not your characters! Jostle them up a bit, and get them moving again… tick tock! Your readers will want to cozy up, but they want adventure, challenges, conflict, and romance!

Here’s an idea… as you make your way into the new year, try using whatever action words work for you, and apply them to your current work-in-progress. It might be fun to think about verbs that start with the same letter (scatter those cobwebs in the brain!). I came up with polish, prune, prod, and permeate. Choose your own letter and have a go at it! Then jump into your writing, apply your action plan, and see what happens! Best of luck!

Image credit: Anne K. Hawkinson

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