Stepping away from writing a manuscript for a little while doesn’t have to be a bad thing for a writer. Using the time to read other people’s work, particularly new releases, can not only keep you up-to-date on publishing trends in your genre, but also inspire you and help you take a mental break from your own prose. Reading about your craft can also help you fine-tune your skills and more critically analyze your own work. So if you find yourself with writer’s block or have other obligations that take you away from your project, don’t forget to read. It’s never time wasted for a writer.
What’s your favorite resource for character development? It could be a book, a blog, podcast or worksheet, etc.?
At the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, the WriteOwls agreed to write at the same time during the week so that we didn’t feel so isolated. We kept one another motivated and accountable by texting at the beginning and end of each session. We were surprised how productive we were during that time. So this month, we recommend you try a similar strategy. After you come up with your writing schedule for November, find a partner or group to help you stay accountable. Share your schedules so that each person knows when the other is supposed to be writing. Then, message each other with a reminder that it’s time to get to work. After the writing session is over, let each other know how you did. If you’re really ambitious, agree to exchange your work at the end of each week. Let us know if this strategy helped you meet your writing goals for the month.
Consider using imagery to convey the tone of a scene. It’s fine to select a universal image, such as fluffy white clouds or birds chirping to set a happy mood. But you can elevate the scene by picking an image that connects in a specific way to your story or reinforces one of your character’s traits. Then, examine how you can use that same image to depict a change in tone by the ending. For example, if that happy scene ends on a sad note, transform those fluffy white clouds into dark thunderclouds, or have those chirping birds fall silent. Using thoughtful imagery not only reinforces the emotional impact you want your story to have, but also broadens your reader’s experience of the world you’ve created.