Chase Down Your Story

What writer hasn't had a story that, as precious as it is, has been about as difficult as a toddler in the terrible two's? Or better yet--are you darned and determined to write the book, have all the ducks in a row, but something nameless is still needed. A muse, perhaps? Inspiration? Or maybe the novel's difficult because there just isn't enough time in the day. Are you stuck even now--in your first book or tenth--struggling to find that fleeting piece of story to make the book come together and be finished.

What I listed above are legit "trials" every single author of every genre, for all of time, face. However, going to level with you--we can't use them as crutches. Excuses to not buckle down and just write the darn story. Oftentimes some of the best plot twists in both the story and in the writing are unexpected whether you're a strict planner or a write-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-er. Our stories though are just that--ours. They're not beings with their own free will that we, the hapless author, can blame for them being unfinished.
That's not to say some books aren't meant to be unfinished for a time, to be dusted off and finished at a later date. There is a time for every season under heaven--including for each and every book you're writing.
The first month of 2016 is very nearly over already, and perhaps those writerly resolutions are waning thin or life has constantly interrupted getting thousands of words logged these last three weeks. Can I just encourage you in chasing down and finishing your story?
Keep writing.
Snatch those moments in between classes to jot, scribble or type a piece of plot or dialogue in a notebook. No matter what season of life you're in, there is always something else you can do besides write. A load of laundry, emails needing answered, reading, researching--none of these and more are inherently bad! But if you're struggling to get that story written, feeling like you're chasing your tail--just write. You can't one day edit a blank page.

Four Ways to Chase Your Story ( And get it written! )

  • Time travel into the future of your story--The End. Think of where you want the characters to be at that great conclusion. And then backtrack. 
  • Think/daydream about your story-world. Even if you're an outliner/planner, before sitting down to write you still need to think about where you're at in the story and what you are going to write. Just make sure to not spend a whole day thinking about writing. 
  • Know another writer? Set up weekly check-in emails about your stories! Cheer each other on, share snippets of writing, "word war" with each other. Even if it's 15min of just writing, it's writing. Not to mention it's fun. Purpose to chase your stories together--it's an immense help.
  • Make a reward system. TV shows are slowly coming back onto the air after the holiday break. No doubt you're excited for a few of them. Write 500 words (or however many!) before you settle down in the evening to watch TV. Same thing. I'm working on the self discipline area of writing (and in life LOL) if I'm honest, and it's hard. But it makes a huge difference. 
Remember a minute what first sparked the story within you. Perhaps it was a song being streamed over speakers as you watched your kids play, or a snippet of a dream that you woke up from and thought, "Oooh, I could build a story around this." You got the memory of that first spark of story? Hold onto it. Fan it back into flame by writing.
See? There's really no need to chase your story down because you've had it in you all along.

Words, history, and grace color my days here in The Burgh where I seek out the perfect coffee and red lipstick.

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