How Do you Keep On Going?

That’s not a rhetorical question. I only have a few readers, but I’m honestly curious what they think about this question: how do you keep working, keep writing, keep not surfing the internet, when the tough times come? If I have a great deadline in NaNoWriMo, then that usually does the trick for me, but usually that’s not the case and it’s up to me to keep me interested.

I’m not having any huge difficulties right now, although I feel like I might be on the borderline. I’m doing my story outlining, as I mentioned previously, and it’s pretty much as boring as I expected. I keep running into the problem of balancing story elements, and I’m starting to get a bit concerned that I don’t have enough subplots (of all things). Sometimes this entire project just seems incredibly difficult.

Of course, it is incredibly difficult. Most people would never finish it. For that matter, I may never finish it (although I plan to!). So here’s how I’m coping: I admit to myself that what I’m doing is difficult and a little boring. But I make myself sit in front of this laptop for at least two 30-minute intervals, not browsing the internet, not playing Minesweeper, just staring at my Word documents. Eventually, doing nothing becomes more boring than writing, and I’ll start typing again.

I also turn the internet off.

Anyway, short post today. I’m honestly curious about what you think, so please sound off in the comments! This will be the last post until next Monday; I’ll be out of town and away from internet until then. Bon voyage!

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4 responses to “How Do you Keep On Going?

  1. Hi, I came across your blog by chance and thought I would pitch in my two cents. First, is it your story that you feel is boring or the process? If it’s your story then you may want to rethink your plot, characters, etc. If it’s the planning think of it as if you were planning a trip to a great adventure. Even if planning the little details can get “boring” it still leads you to that adventure.

    The more planning you do the easier the writing will be, BUT, don’t get so hung up on the details. If you get bored, write a scene or a conversation between your characters, even if you don’t use it in the story. Create a relationship with your characters. Give them a voice and room to grow beyond your story. Then go back and work on the planning phase, subplots, etc.

    Keep it fun. Keep that excitement for your story that drove you to want to write it in the first place. It will drive you through the planning phase. That’s my two cents. Good luck and keep at it.

    • I think “keep it fun” is excellent advice. My main goal with all this planning is to write a story that’s not boring, but as I mentioned that’s not as trivial as it sounds, and it can be easy to get hung up on details.

  2. As far as outlining goes specifically, I’d say to outline it in the fashion and to the detail that works for you. My outlining (mostly for shorter works) often takes the form of writing out important sentences. The point is, it’s purely a tool for your own use and organization of thoughts, so don’t be any more elaborate than you need to be, just get your ideas down in some kind of sequential order and go from there.

    • This reminds me: I did the first few steps of the Snowflake Method to get a general idea of my novel and its characters, but I stopped about halfway down the list of tasks because they were all leading toward the final method of outlining: writing a short paragraph on every single scene in the entire novel. I can’t imagine a more boring task. Writing is most fun if there are surprises, and if there are surprises then you’ve wasted all that time you spent writing out scenes.

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