06 June 2012

Researching versus Writing

You've pre-plotted, or not, and have a slew of scene ideas to write. You've mastered the getting-up-an-hour-earlier-to write. Daily the words flow and you're gaining confidence in your story. You tally up your word count and find you're on track to beat the deadline you've given yourself.

In the morning, you hit a scene that demands you know how in the heck the culture you're writing about performs wedding ceremonies. You've attending enough of them to have a general sense but no idea of the actual details of who does what when. Or, you're not exactly sure how the bounty hunter really would act in the situation you've set up. Or, when exactly a young girl reached maturity back in the time period you're writing about.

You decide you can not go on writing until you've figured out the details, convinced not knowing will cost you more time in the rewrite if you write something now that doesn't fit later. Suddenly, you find yourself spending all your writing time scribbling notes and listing new scene ideas to incorporate in your story, sure your readers will love what you've uncovered as much as you do. Your productivity skids to a stop and your word count remains unchanged for one, then two, then three days as you research the necessary information.

My advice? It's simple: Use your writing time to write. Devote another time during the day to research.

To familiarize yourself with the Universal Story and basic plot tips and tricks:

1) Read The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master (The companion workbook is coming this summer and available for pre-order now ~~ The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories)

2) Watch the Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. Scroll down on the left of this post for a directory of all the steps to the series. 27-step tutorial on Youtube

3) Watch the Monday Morning Plot Book Group Series on YouTube. Scroll down on the right of this post for a directory the book examples and plot elements discussed.

For additional tips and information about the Universal Story and plotting a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter