A few ideas on getting your novel unstuck

I’m still in the throes of a productive writing binge. The more I allow myself the freedom to write without editing every sentence a dozen times the faster and smoother the process goes. For those looking to break a logjam or generally get things moving I’ve found the following have been helpful:

1. No music, no tv, just a fan for white noise
2. No internet connection while writing
3. Throwing in ??? placeholders whenever I get to a place that I’m not sure about or need to do more research on this. This allows me to keep writing and not stop while I look up the various kinds of materials used to make crossbow strings in the Middle Ages.
4. Setting a goal of a scene at a time. I envision the arc of the scene, think about what I want it to convey, then write it out, knowing I’ll refine it later.
5. Minimal re-reading of previous scenes. I skim what I wrote to make sure I’m continuing in the same tone, but I resist editing the earlier scenes at this point because the intention is to move the story forward.
6. Checking in with the senses. As I write the dialogue I consider what the characters might be hearing, smelling, seeing etc. It alleviates the white room syndrome and through the details plot ideas expand.
7. Most important of all (for me) is I refuse to flay myself when a scene doesn’t initially work. Instead of spiraling down, I shrug it off and take a new swing at it. I couldn’t really do this before because the process was soooooo slow, so I would instead edit and re-edit until my eyes bled. Now that I am writing faster I find I am far more willing to junk big chunks of text because I can create more quite readily.

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