Monday, March 01, 2010

Write it in Longhand? Gasp!

It's time to write the next chapter. You've ended your story with a great hook that will entice your reader to turn the page and see what happens next. Great! But, if you want to keep those pages turning, you have to start your new chapter with a hook as well.

One thing that has helped me is to first sit down with pen and paper and freehand what I expect to happen in the chapter. Remember each chapter should have goal, motivation, and conflict. Yesterday I had a vague idea of how I wanted to move forward with my story, but I couldn't quite get the "hook" to begin with. So, I grabbed a tablet and pen and began to write. I filled a page and a half, stopping when I had reached a point of emotional turmoil for both the hero and heroine. Then I looked at what I'd charted as the beginning. Now I easily knew how to write that hook to entice my reader to continue reading.

Actually writing that chapter became very easy. No, I'm not a true plotter. I do know my characters, I know what is keeping them apart, I know how the story is going to end (like any good fairy tale), but I don't know how they are going to get there. There will be obstacles along the way, lots of conflict, tension, and pitfalls. But when I sit and develop each chapter on paper, then I can visualize the characters as I write their actions and words. In no time at all, I have a new chapter with a great hook for the first sentence and for the last.

Hope this helps some of you who have problems sitting down and staring at a blank page.

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

Marianne Arkins said...

Writing longhand feels more... creative to me. Typing is more analytical. When I get blocked, I'll pull out paper and scribble (and I mean scribble... I seldom write anything anymore, so my handwriting is abysmal).

OTOH, I can't imagine writing an entire story by hand!