5 Ways to Stay Productive with Your Story
I was on a roll the other week. Typing and writing EVERY DAY. I was able to keep myself in a groove throughout the day and get about 800 words done a day. Granted, that isn’t a lot, especially considering I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year; but, it was more than I was used to. A start.
It was going beautifully. Then, it happened. I hit a wall, and I couldn’t get the words on the page, even though I had the ideas on the outline. It wasn’t writer’s block, but I fell out of my writing zone. I suddenly couldn’t do it anymore. I burned myself out. It’s disheartening, making me worry that I wouldn’t make it through NaNoWriMo (though it’s okay to not meet the word count).
I couldn’t write anymore, but I still wanted to work on my story somehow. Stay productive, and maybe then I can start writing again. Other than writing the story, what can I do?
I had to research more to get more details. That’s what you can do, too. When you want to stay productive, there are a few things you can still do to make sure you’re continuing to focus on your story.
Research your setting context.
Since most people write their work in another timeframe or culture, you always want to make sure you have enough background on your setting context. There are four pieces that you need to make sure you have down. You can find out more about each here.
People watch for realistic characterization.
As creepy as this sounds, the best thing to do for authentic characters is to watch authentic people. Pay attention to the interactions and reactions of characters. How do people socialize, carry themselves, move when they talk, drive, listen to music, show affection, handle their kids, deal with adversity. Depending on the scene in your story, you want to be in the same kind of place, if you can. Not sure what kind of scenes you need to have? You can get 35+ ideas here.
Watch movies or read books from the era to see how others do it.
This is the fun research. When you view or read something as a creator, not just the audience, you learn how to improve your own craft. There are so many books and movies available that fit into your genre and can show you the best and worst ways to portray your story. Check out your local library.
Read articles on how to strengthen your weaknesses.
Pinterest offers so much for writers to learn about their craft. If you feel like, or know, you’re struggling with something in your story, read up on it. Take the time to check out articles For Writers, about Writing Language and Editing, eventual Writing Publication and Marketing, and possible Writing Descriptors. Or, you can read a variety of topics with 35+ Writing Articles to Improve Your Storytelling.
Plan more scenes and characters for the story.
Of course, plan what kinds of scenes you need. While some people like to write in order, I find it better for me to jump around. I recommend you always start at the end, then write your major scenes. After that, it’s a matter of filling in what it takes to get to that point. If you have an idea where you’re going with your story, it will be easier to actually do so. Not sure what kind of scenes you need to have? You can get 35+ ideas here.
Essentially, while it works for some to take a break from writing, some of us like to just do alternative tasks until we recharge. If you’re a professional author, this is definitely a must. But, if you’re a hobbyist author, these are highly recommended, though not necessarily required.
All in all, you probably want to stay productive in anything that you do. Just saying.
So, what else do you do to work with your story when not directly writing it? Let us know below and on social media. If you’re working on the plot planning phase, or even just need a little guidance on major scenes, I recommend you sign up for my bi-weekly Writer’s Wisdom newsletter for tips, tricks, and writing topics. Not to mention you get free access to my plot and conflict planning workbook! Try it out!