What to do When the Writing Won’t Happen

It’s been hot this week, like crazy mad hot. We reached 90 degrees IN the house, and you know, there’s only so much fans can do. At some point, it’s just moving around hot air. So this wasn’t a productive week for writing. I spent most of my non working hours devising ways to cool off. (for those who care, an industrial factory fan set on gale-force winds does help, especially if you keep your hair wet with cold water every 30 minutes.)

Anyway, given the temps, writing wasn’t happening this week. What was happening was time wastage online that ended up not entirely wasted. I read a quote (alas forgot the origin) that said something like writing a character is like baring her soul. You’ve exposed the good, the bad, and the ugly, the kind of truths we seldom recognize in ourselves.

Another online read talked about show vs tell, and using the camera as a mechanism to tell the difference in your writing. If you can’t see it, smell it, taste it, feel it, you might be slipping into telling vs showing.

And the final tidbit came from an Orphan Black panel at ComiCon. Tatiana M. (she who plays all clones) talked about using a playlist for each clone to help her get in character. I’ve heard other authors using playlists but I found this an interesting take since authors need to get “in character” much like actors do. I haven’t created a playlist for my characters yet, but if this heat spell continues, that’s the next too-hot-to-write activity I’ll jump into.

What do you do when the writing is impossible?

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9 Comments

  1. Heat sucks the life out of me, so I get it. Hoping for cooler temperatures, and thus more words, for you. Although being online can be a huge waste of time, I do find most of my promotional events through trolling Facebook. It’s just managing how much time I’m on there.

  2. Well, you accomplished more than I could in this heat, which was staring at the wall when I didn’t have to walk the dog….

  3. I write on a laptop, so when it gets hot, it gets really hot. And my arthritic thumb doesn’t like me writing by hand, which used to be my alternative. So I feel for you. When the writing is impossible, I try to do research.

  4. I have developed playlists either, but I’ve heard it’s instructive. Not just for characters, but for the entire book. What I do is surround myself with other narrative – I read, watch television and movies, some people play video games like World of Warcraft (I haven’t tried). You never know what will take root.

  5. Ugh, the heat can really mess up the writing :S I’m much more productive during fall.

    I’ve been thinking of creating a playlist for my new project but hadn’t considered creating seperate ones for the characters. Not a bad idea actually. Thanks for sharing 😀

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