8 Ways to Disconnect if You Want to Write Quality Fiction

Writing fiction ISN’T EASY!

Ask anyone who’s ever tried their hand at writing a fictional story. I’m sure they’ll tell you that it’s a task to reckon with.

Isn’t it tough enough to deal with REAL people in a REAL world, and solve REAL problems?

Yes! It’s insanely tough!

Now think about creating an IMAGINARY world with IMAGINARY people, and having to solve their IMAGINARY problems.

Oh God! I think I need to lie down…

Well if you want to write fiction, and write it well, you need to be better at the IMAGINARY stuff than the REAL stuff.
It doesn’t matter whether you hate your boss in real life. No one really cares. But if your story has a character that respects and admires their boss, then you need to be able to convince your reader of this point with some genuine writing.

But how do you do that…when all you actually feel is pure hatred for your own *@%#%& boss.

Well…that’s where you need to DISCONNECT!
Let’s quickly go through 8 ways of disconnecting when writing.

You’re writing an exciting romance story. Your characters, two lovers, Brad and Rita, are about to runaway and elope. Just as they are about to get into their car, you remember that your real life best friend, let’s say Fred or Holly also ran away five years ago to elope with their secret lovers. Eerie feelings of regret begin to overpower you as you recall that Fred or Holly were then eventually dumped by their lovers after about two weeks, thus leaving them depressed and suicidal.

STOP! Step Back! DISCONNECT!

This isn’t about Fred or Holly.

It’s about Brad and Rita, the characters of your story who ARE hopelessly in love!

Stay on track.

You’re cruising along your imagination highway. Your characters are buckled in safely, and the destination is locked in. Then you begin to wonder whether you should turn towards the risky road of suspense, or the safer road of family drama to toss your characters around.

You suddenly remember that you haven’t called your mom in a LONG time.

So you think this is a good time to say HI, and also ask her opinion on the new story your writing.

After the initial YAPPITY-YAP, you tell her about your story, and then ask for some leads or opinions.

STOP! Step Back! DISCONNECT!

Your mother has no idea what’s going on in your head.

Damn!

She can’t understand your storyline let alone tell you how to advance your plot. All you’ll end up doing is confusing her and yourself even more.

Just Say ‘Love ya, mom’ and disconnect the call.

No, I’m not going to tell you to meditate, or levitate, or chant your way to mental isolation. In fact, every writer has their own special technique for this. And it comes with time and patience.

It took me a long time to be able to mentally DISCONNECT from the sounds and chaos of the world around me. One minute I’m writing, the next minute I’m listening to teen problems, and then the next hour while I’m regaining my mental composure, I’m also cleaning, folding, and driving.

If you’re waiting for the perfect moment to write, then it’s not going to happen.

STOP! Step Back! DISCONNECT!

Every time I was drawn away from my laptop, I made sure to return and write with more vengeance. I convinced myself that my life depended on it, and that if I removed my eyes from the screen for even a second, the man in the felt hat and trench coat would surely SHOOT ME.

Is he standing behind me right now?

I’m so sure that you have read this piece of advice as many times as I have.

And that’s A LOT of times!

I actually don’t follow this myself.

But this could be due to certain fears that I suffer from, such as…

If I turn off my cell phone, then I might not get to hear the bad news or sudden emergencies that are going to start pouring in like…THE WORLD IS ENDING!!!

OR…

The fear that if I disconnect from the internet, I might just feel so lonely and isolated that it may actually affect my mental health.

Yeah right! Like my mental health could be anymore affected than it already is.

Until you’re a rookie who has just started writing, I advise you to…

STOP! Step Back! DISCONNECT!

Balance your writing with whatever else gels with you. If you really are serious about writing, even an erupting volcano couldn’t catch your attention (as long as you’re at a really safe distance).

Wait…don’t get me wrong!

Of course you have to be serious about your story and your writing. It’s the ONLY way you’re going to progress and produce QUALITY work.

But don’t get too wrapped up in your characters, plot and setting.

You sometimes need to write your story from the perspective of an innocent bystander. It’s as if the characters are leading you, and the story is unfolding in front of you like a blossoming flower.

If you’re trying to push and shove your characters around one day because you don’t really like them, and then you’re trying to make amends the next day because you feel sorry for them…you’re going to end up with an EPIC SAGA of pointless confusion.

STOP! Step Back! DISCONNECT!

It’s your imagination, so please give it some room to breathe.

If you’re a writer who is deeply inspired by the writing of other authors, then that’s seriously APPLAUSE worthy.

But if you’re also a writer who tries to MIMIC the writing style of other authors then please this point is DEDICATED to you.

I believe that every writer on this earth has their own unique style of writing.

I’m not saying that two writers can’t write on similar patterns, but there will always be some small noticeable differences.

So if you are reading other writers’ stories to gain insight into writing your own, then be CAREFUL!

Until you’re practicing to be a con artist, or aren’t afraid of indulging in plagiarism…

STOP! Step Back! DISCONNECT!

Don’t WRITE as soon as you finish reading someone else’s work. Otherwise your writing will end up looking like an old and beaten patchwork quilt.

Give your brain the time to absorb what it has read, and process it. This will ensure that you’re not just THROWING UP words. Get inspired by ideas, but reproduce them in your own way.

Yeah, Writer’s Block sucks!

It happens to every writer, and those who deny this are probably in denial about everything else in their lives as well.

When you can’t move forward in your writing, and feel stuck, don’t bang your head against a blank screen. Just gracefully get up, and get the HELL OUT of that suffocating situation. When it’s so bad that you can’t breathe, or even remember your own name…

STOP! Step Back! DISCONNECT!

You could just listen to your favorite music, watch a movie that’s been on your mind for some time, or lie down and take a nap (this works best for me Zzzz…)

Just step away from the toxicity of a non-productive environment.

You must be like…wuhh?? Is she serious? What a joke!

I am serious, and this is not a joke.

You’ll need to understand the deeper meaning of this point.

When I look at my high school photographs, I see a gawky and awkward teenager with strange side bangs (what was I even thinking…), dressed in oversized t-shirts and baggy pants, and suffering from moderate acne issues.

In other words, I look a lot like a confused and tired nomad.

But as I grew up, things improved.

And I probably matured into someone who can be called…moderately good-looking.

I’m sure it’s the same with you too. Until you’re god-gifted in the looks department…then WHY in the HELL do you even want to WRITE?!

Are you still with me?

Now comes the part that should answer your wuhh…

If looks can improve with time then so can your writing.

At first it’ll look crummy and messy.

But then it’ll improve to being tolerable and readable.

Before finally maturing into something attractive and beautiful.

So when you’re cursing yourself and your writing…

STOP! Step Back! DISCONNECT!

Don’t be too judgmental when it comes to your own writing. At times, turn a blind eye, and look the other way. Time and perseverance will transform your ugly ducklings into exotic wonders.

Great wine takes time to mature, and so does great writing.

CHEERS!

 

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