Saturday, 19 December 2009

Writing - Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

Tell Me a Story - question
Hello, AJ. I'm having a dilemma. I think it's descriptive power syndrome. I over-describe things (maybe) and get stuck right after writing a great descriptive paragraph and become unable to continue the plot. Every thing I start to write results like that. Please do recommend me methods or tell me tips to overcome my problem. Thanks.
Hello Aiman from Singapore. Thanks for sending this in. Descriptive Power Syndrome, mm.... That's a new one on me, I guess you not only recognize you have a problem, but have named it as well. Perhaps you’re talking about what in the past was called ‘purple prose’.

It seems to me that you almost have the answer in your own hands. Most people don't understand what the obstacles are with their writing and that's where their actual problems lie. Once they KNOW they have a problem, they work on it and polish it away. You seem to understand exactly what is wrong - so let's try to see why you can't get over it.

Edit it away

Most authors simply get on with writing their story and return later to edit away the crap. Don’t imagine that writers produce a beautiful piece of work hot off the press. Stories aren’t written, stories are re-written, several times. Everyone has to edit the rubbish away. The trick is recognizing what the rubbish is. You already seem to understand this.

Let's try a plan

Okay, so maybe the real problem lies in planning. I know I hammer this a lot, but a lot of hiccups in writing come about because of insufficient preparation.

If you make an outline of the story before you start to write, you won’t grind to a halt because any sticking points will be ironed out in the planning stage. A plan doesn’t have to be all-inclusive, it can be as sketchy as you like. Just make one. The worst plan is better than none at all - and the plan can be altered at any time to accomodate new ideas.

Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

Some writers claim that making an outline inhibits their flow of writing, that their creative juices are stunted. In fact, it can have the opposite effect. Once you know where the story is going, you can write free-flow then wham! Words just fall off the ends of your fingers.

A plan is merely a guide, a map of where you want to go; it isn’t the journey, it isn’t writing. Writing is where you release the juices and the flow of creation comes into it’s own.

Good luck - and let me know how you go on.

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