Writing in Chunks When You’re Stuck

 An earlier post on Irish Roots Author discussed writing scenes out of order. Why? It can keep the creative juices working when the flow for getting from action A to Action B is murky.

Scenes take a lot of thought, some authors would even say planning. They definitely need a beginning, middle, and end. Eventually they need to be placed in the most logical part of the book. But, I digress.

If a scene is more than you’re prepared to write today, how about a chunk? By my definition, a chunk of writing is one of several things: a discussion between two or more characters, a dramatic segment (which does not need to include physical activity), or a short explanation of anything related to a story.

Perhaps your mind sees what a young child wears on the first day of school or what the amateur sleuth views the moment she discovers the agitated spider monkey trapped in a bread box. You don’t want to lose either image. Write them — if only a few sentences.

You may not need the chunk technique if your mind has the equivalent of dozens of paper or digital file folders and you have a good memory and you can easily get to your notebook or computer.

If you’re like me, one or more of these criteria may not exist. Or, like many authors, there are many facets of your life and ideas leak out of your brain.

No matter how busy you are, you can have a three-by-five card in a pocket or note software on your phone. Jot a few sentences. Maybe half of the jots will look dumb next time you peruse them. But some will lead you to a scene or a way to express a character’s motivation.

Give it a try. Check back for a blog post next week that discusses things to watch out for if you try the chunk technique.

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