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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Fitting Writing Time into Summer Vacation

It's coming onto summer vacation time when more than your stories are demanding your time. Relatives and friends come calling. The kids in the neighborhood are running loose. It seems that there always someone or something in need of attention.

Right now I love being in the garden. I love taking walks. And I love writing. How do I make sure I keep my focus on my writing?

It's hard. I've learned though that when I have quiet time I need to focus on one problem that my character is having.  Today as I weeded around my emerging carrot plants I forced my focus on my main character. 

I worked on building her scrapbook. I used the time to think about who she is and how she got that way. I thought about her likes and dislikes. Does she like carrots? What's her favorite color?

My writing time is going to be compromised because a friend is coming to stay for a few days. That doesn't mean I don't have other things I can do. Okay, so I can't concentrate and work on a chapter, what I can do is busy work. I can use the bits and scraps of time to build her wardrobe. Since this story I'm working on is set in 1889 I can take a few minutes here and there to go on line and get clothing ideas. I can find her carriage. I can work on the map of where she lives. I can do the things that don't require the "zoned out" concentration that full chapter writing takes.

I can't write when someone else is in the house when I'm doing my first draft. Now rewriting, that's another situation. But when I need full concentration, no, I can't have anyone near by.

No matter what your writing style is, try to find a way to keep in touch with your story. Even if it's just putting a scrapbook together. Or even if it's just solving one problem. 

Do you ever do this? Just before you go to sleep bring your character forward and ask your character to solve her problem? I've done it and sometimes it works! I've been told that the moments before you go to sleep and when you first wake up can be very creative times and to take advantage of them. Harvest them, so to speak. It takes effort and concentration.

So, as summer fires up, do what you can to stay in touch...with your characters and your story.

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