Friday, October 12, 2007

COVER TO COVER: Staying motivated

Marcy asked a great question in answer to my previous post on Motivation.

How do you keep motivated when you hit a section that is just not working for you?

This is when staying motivated is crucial to finishing the book.

We all know the feeling well: the first chapters fly, maybe the whole first half of the book, then we get hit by the sagging middle (and no, I'm not just talking about my post-baby belly!!)
So how do you stay on top of it?
How do you get past the roadblock to creativity?

For me, I focus on that last word: creativity.
I sit with a blank sheet of paper and pen, and let the ideas flow.

Where can my characters go from here?
What can up the stakes?
Why are they behaving this way?
What will propel them towards the happily-ever-after they deserve?
Who has the most to lose?
What events can conspire against them?
What events can bring them closer together and up the tension?

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking.

I always find pen and paper extremely useful for 'unblocking'.
When I use this method, I also tend to end up outlining the rest of the book, even if it's only a line or two for each chapter and you'd be amazed how much easier it is to finish the book with something solid to refer to when your mind (or characters!) start wandering again.

Hope this helps get you past those mini blocks :)


Marcy said...

Wow - A whole post! I'm honoured!

Thanks for the great suggestions, Nicola! I'll definitely try asking myself some of those questions. Maybe then I'll be able to get back at it instead of blog hopping ; )


Ray-Anne said...

Great post - many thanks, Ray-Anne

Nicola Marsh said...

I'm guilty of blog hopping when I don't want to write!! The art of procrastination... ;)

Glad you and Ray-Anne enjoyed the post.

Barb said...

Some great suggestions there, Nic. If I'm stuck in the middle, I sometimes find it helpful to know where I want my characters to be at the end and then to work backwards from there. What caused the final moment? What caused that? etc, etc.

Nicola Marsh said...

That's a great tip, Barb.
I've never thought of that! Must try it next time :)