Five Things: How to keep writing
1. Go for a walk. The rhythm of walking can set your sentences going. You may be trying too hard. A walk is relaxing. It allows ideas – or the next bit of your story – to come into your mind without any effort on your part.
2. Ask questions. Who, What, Why, Where and How are a writer’s most useful words. Question your characters and brainstorm the answers. e.g. So what would X really do when when a strange man appears at his door? Who is he? What does he want? Where has he come from and How will X answer his question?
3. Make a Writing Resolution – one that is not too ambitious. Either you are going to write for an hour a day, whatever happens, or you are going to write 300 words every day before breakfast. Whatever your resolution stick to it for at least a month or until you feel uncomfortable when you don’t do it!
4. Go out and buy a beautiful new notebook. Avoid blank white paper, it’s far too scary. And don’t choose one that is so fat that it will need a novel the size of War and Peace to fill it. I like wide lines and yellow paper. A margin for scribbled notes is cheery and I like spiral-bound notebooks so I can tear out a page and throw it away.
Buy a second, small, quiet notebook. This can be your ideas notebook. A kind of larder for future use.
5. Make a chapter plan using those ‘In which...’ headings that A. A. Milne uses in the Winnie the Pooh stories.
e.g. In which B falls in love with C
In which there’s a hurricane.
In which wicked aunt Betty arrives.
In which everyone lives happily ever after.
Once you’ve got an outline, you can grow each ‘In which’ to a larger plan. Before you know it, you’ll be writing your whole story.