I'm writing a novel, the first draft of which can be found elsewhere on the site.

A couple of random thoughts about writing:

Often, my writing problems stem from the fact that I'm not specific enough. Once I start writing in greater detail, taking in input from all the senses, the story is freed and I can see the way ahead.

There are two sides to writing: listening, receiving, uncovering what is there; and ass-to-seat, forcing out the words, creating.

I hate this "ass-to-seat" thing. It sounds so unkind and disrespectful. Would you treat another person that way?

Anyway, on to the topic at hand. Over the past week I've been reading "Writing down the Bones" by Nathalie Goldberg. Goldberg's approach to writing seems quite similar to mine, and it was cool to realise that I'm not the only one out there. (There are differences, of course; the main one being that, unlike Goldberg, I feel there's a place for slow and deliberate writing.) What Goldberg's book offered, and what I had felt the need of but hadn't been able to figure out on my own, were writing exercises. Or, more in particular, things to try when writing wasn't happening or wasn't going well. Any of the suggestions that I'd encountered so far didn't appeal to me or didn't work. Based on the book I now have a whole list of things to try - I haven't put any of these to the test yet, but it's good to have a backup-plan.

And now for Plan B

Ideally, my writing process goes like this:

Problems that I encounter:

I remember how, on the TV-series "The A-team", things never seemed to go as planned and someone always ended up saying, "And now for plan B", to which one of the other characters would reply, "We don't have a plan B". Usually they'd end up shooting and blowing up stuff, an approach that doesn't seem to translate to writing that well. But now I feel I have a plan B.

Problem: trying to write a draft in my notebook produces nothing at all, since I can't seem to get into my "writing space".

Things to try:

Problem: I've written lots of bits and pieces, none of which feel right or make sense.

Things to try:

Problem: either of the problems mentioned above occurs. Trying to write the thing in Word doesn't help either.

Things to try:


This article was written after writing episode 56 of the first draft of my novel After the War.
After the War (56)

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