Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Finding Ruts

In between checking e-mails, I stumbled across an MSN article about exercising ruts. Okay, I admit, I read the whole thing.

And I was surprised to see that I was stuck in a rut or two myself. After thinking about it, I realized how simple it would be to make a couple of adjustments and *ding* my rut would be gone.

For you exercise enthusiasts out there- I decided I needed more resistance training. I kind of let that one go out the window at least six years ago. I know- kind of bad of me. But I can change. It would be easy. I just needed to think about it and realize that I should do it.

What about writing ruts?

1- Just like in exercising, sometimes you need to switch things up. If you go on the same walk for 30 minutes every single day, your muscles get used to it and you plateau.

Instead of doing exactly the same thing everyday, be aware of when you need to be diverse. When you're writing there are many things that take time- planning your plot, developing your characters, creating scenes, finding weak spots in your plans, editing, writing, etc.

The list can really keep going for a long time. In fact, if you're simply writing and never planning or thinking into your story, it won't be as strong of a book.

2- Is the story itself stuck in a rut? This is where stepping back and doing resistance training will help. Get your weights out and find new ways to strengthen your plot and characters. Figure out what's missing. Maybe the stakes aren't high enough, we need more time in the character's head, more action, less info dump, more dialogue, less dialogue... you get the picture.

Sometimes the only way we can see the problem is to step back and think about it from a different angle.

3- And lastly, we're setting our workout machine on "fat burning" so that we stay in a zone that is easier, but ultimately burns fewer calories and ends up being a less effective workout.

There's a chance you could push yourself a little more when it comes to the writing industry. Maybe you need more social media, writers conferences, a writers group, etc. Or perhaps you could handle writing more hours in the day than you do. If you could be doing more than you are, try to.

And in the end, we'll have a better story- uhm, and a better body too I guess if you apply all the same exercise principles. So get your tennis shoes out, or your computer, and have fun!


LouMac said...

Ha! I liked the analogy. It made me laugh. You definitely have to be a writer to think that way... :)

Laura said...

Oh, uhhh, now I'm starting to wonder how off the wall I must sound.

Wait, I'm probably always like that.

Welcome to the world of crazy writers!

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm trying to exercise my writing ability by trying something new. It's frightening and daunting but it's also a lot of fun!

B.K. Bostick said...

Cheryl Klein's book second sight sight is like the P-90 X for writers. It's the deep burn!!!

B.K. Bostick said...

Just saw I wrote "sight" twice...I need to work out more.

Laura said...

I've thought about Cheryl's book.
Does that mean you've read it?