Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sticking to Your Story

Have this ever happened to you?

You're going on with life as it is and suddenly... bam! This amazing, wonderful story idea comes to you! If you're an writer, this is one of the best feelings: Getting a story idea you love! The feeling of excitement bubbles inside of you. So you brainstorm. And you write.

At first, it's great. Since you love the story, everything flows. Naturally, it comes from your brain to paper. A few chapters into your masterpiece, that's when it begins. It's probably the most common cause of story death.

The fire from the excitement of a new idea starts to go out. Three or four chapters into it, you stop writing. There might be no other cause, expect the fresh feeling isn't there anymore.

No author can deny writing a first draft is a hard thing to do. You have to come up with ideas, worry about the length, all while trying to stay true to the basic writing rules. Show, don't tell, etc.

When you think about it, what keeps the story alive in your brain? What makes you push through in the long hours of writing time?


If you just sat there and let the fire go out, it's not going to hesitate to fade. That's why you have to keep yourself motivated. It is difficult, I know, especially when you really want to get to the exciting part. Sometimes, actually writing is a piece of cake compared to actually completing your first draft.

Do what you have to do to keep yourself motivated. Use the best parts that you haven't gotten to yet. Remember, if you don't write, you're never going to get the scenes you want to write. That's what motivated me during my many first draft writing sessions.

Create a Pinterest board, or look at an old board you made. I recently got Pinterest and it's helping me consider the outward appearance of characters. Too often, I would forget about that.

 My personal favorite is making a  music playlist! It's easy to do on Spotify, plus free. Just think of songs that would go perfectly in your book's soundtrack. Listen to the song. Picture the scene in your head. This is seriously fun!

This might be the most important. Eliminate all distractions. Translation: Turn off the Internet. I can't count how many minutes I've wasted on Pinterest, or Instagram, or even my blog, when I could have been writing. What is more worth it in the end? Writing or checking social networks? I need to think of that question. Reward yourself when you're done writing.

It's more painful when you're really into the story and the flame starts to go out again. Take a break. Work on another story. I have been taking a break with my most recent book to get some fresh air. If all else fails, consider the time. It might not be the right time to write the story. That's what I'm thinking about right now.

Relax. Writing is fun, not stressful. It's a time to express your feelings, your words. Don't sweat. Remember, this is your first draft. It's going to be far from perfect, but it's worth it. It shapes your voice, helps you grow, even if you don't publish it. Stick to your story! I wish you the best of luck.

When you write a story, what's a few ways you stay motivated? Do you think about music while you write or picture songs going on with your story? What songs? Comment!

Happy summer!


  1. I tagged you for the Sunflower Award over at my blog! :)


  2. These are great tips, Sarah! I love these posts of yours. I always pictures books when I listen to music! At least I'm not the only one. ;) hehe =)

  3. Oh my goodness, thank you so much for this!! >.< I really needed it!


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