6 Fun Writing Strategies to Help You Write More
Writing isn’t the easiest thing to do when you’re not sure where to start. In fact, the whole thing can be a little overwhelming. Whether you’re writing a short story or trying to hit a specific word count, it can be a lot to take in. That is why we’ve brought you some writing strategies to help get your creative juices flowing.
While these strategies may not be the most well-known, they’re tried and have our seal of approval.
1. Write Out of Order
Creating an outline for your book may be essential. But there’s no law that dictates you need to write everything in order. In fact, some authors forgo it altogether. There’s actually a reason this strategy is effective.
Writing what you’re inspired to write helps get more written than focusing on writing the chapters in order. It’s one of the reasons why some writers suffer from writer’s block. They’re trying to force the content out and it doesn’t go well. Instead of focusing on what you can’t find the words to write, just go with what you want to write.
Inspiration is a funny thing. It comes in the oddest forms. At the oddest times. It’s important to take advantage of it, and write as much as you can.
Take Stephenie Meyer for example. Did you know she didn’t write Twilight in order? In fact, according to her, it was the now-famous meadow scene that came first!
I woke up (on that June 2nd) from a very vivid dream. In my dream, two people were having an intense conversation in a meadow in the woods. One of these people was just your average girl. The other person was fantastically beautiful, sparkly, and a vampire. They were discussing the difficulties inherent in the facts that A) they were falling in love with each other while B) the vampire was particularly attracted to the scent of her blood, and was having a difficult time restraining himself from killing her immediately.
That was her starting point in the book. She hadn’t had names for the characters at that point. Nothing was known, and yet, that’s where it all started. From that scene on, the story blossomed. For more on her writing journey, you can head on here.
2. Think Aloud
There are times where we aren’t exactly happy with what we’ve written. That’s actually a common thing for writers. Whether it’s the wording, the structure, the scene, something is just off. In cases like these, I’m afraid, staring at your screen for a long time just won’t cut it. You’ll need to think outside the box. Think out loud.
Now, what does that entail exactly? Well, you’ll need to read what you’ve written out loud. Then, try to process is as if you’re explaining it to someone else. Just think of your writing process, what you need to write, and how you want things to go. All, while talking to yourself.
Granted, there is a common misconception that talking to yourself means you’re crazy. And that can’t be farther from the truth. It means you’re artistic and creative. It’s also, very popular with writers, and even teachers. They use it to help their students in a technique dubbed as ‘writing aloud’.
Besides, as E.L. Doctorow says,
Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
3. Act it Out
This point might seem a little similar to the previous one, but it’s slightly different. As opposed to just thinking out loud, here, you’ll be doing some acting as well.
Like we said before, sometimes, scenes just don’t seem to be working well. Especially ones involving dialogue. Whether the dialogue is too stiff or unrealistic, you need to work on it. What better way to do that than by acting it out?
All you need to do is take the scene you’re having trouble with and think of it as a script. Take on the role of your characters and play it out. There are so many ways this technique can help you with your writing as well as connecting with your characters.
4. Create a Character Profile
The key to creating a well-rounded character comes from fully understanding them. Making them sound and feel real. So what better way to ensure that than to create a full-on character profile for them?
You can start with the basics, have it be as simple as the outer looks, height, weight, and such. Then take it to the next level. What are their hobbies? Interests? It doesn’t matter if those things don’t feature at all in your story. They give you as a writer a better feel of the kind of character you’re coming up with.
Some of those random facts about them can even shape who they are in the story. It will help add a more well-rounded view to them. Your lead always ensures her hair is hiding her neck? That could be to hide a scar she got from being chased by dogs in her neighborhood. It could also explain why she’s nervous about the new family with the Rottweiler living next door. They’re bringing some childhood traumas back to the surface. This, in turn, adds substance to your character. It makes them feel more three-dimensional and human.
It could be all of those things or none of them. All that matters is that it helps you better understand your own characters. This post here can help you come up with a pretty good character profile. If you’re having trouble thinking of characteristics for them, try a character profile generator. It might be absolutely ridiculous with nothing to use from it, but it can also give you some ideas to run with.
5. Draw a Mind Map
Another strategy to follow is to draw a mind map. When you’re not sure what to write about, it’s easier to brainstorm and generate ideas before you get started. Mind mapping your thought process and ideas is a great technique to apply.
Since it’s all about getting your thoughts out there, they could be as random as you’d like. You don’t have to agonize over where everything will go straight away. The point is to jot them down, then link them together in a timeline that works.
One great software to help you do that is Scapple. The entire software is built on the concept of digitally creating mind maps to help your story along.
6. People Watch
Before we dive into this point, we need to clarify what we mean by people watching. That does not include or involve stalking of any kind. People watch is when you’re sitting down somewhere and observing the passersby. Whether it be on the street, in a coffee shop, at the park, it makes no difference. Maybe even on the subway on your way home.
Observing others as they pass you by can help you imagine who they are and what sort of lives they may lead. With that, you’ll be able to come up with your own stories. This can be a great help in sparking your imagination.
It doesn’t have to be random strangers. It can be your own family or friends. Drawing inspiration from real life can be such an asset to your work.
Writing can be a fun venture. But it can also be difficult, especially if you’re suffering from writer’s block. Or if you’re lost on where you’re going with your story. Taking a creative approach to the writing process might help ease you into it. If you follow these writing strategies, you’ll find it easier to get to the finish line.