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How To Recharge Your Story

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If you’re anything like me, you have one (okay, more than one), story sitting on your computer that you started and never finished. I’ve lost count how many I’ve had in that suspended state. Not all of them have gone on to be completed, but a lot have. I thought I’d share with you five tips that brought them back to life again.

Read and Revisit

This one is probably the easiest. In fact, so easy, you probably wouldn’t think it would work but it does. Pull the story up on the screen and read through what you’ve already written.  When I revisit characters and plot it stirs up my imagination to get the plot rolling again.

Go to Online Book Stores

Sometimes it’s a creative kick up the butt you need. I’ve found looking at what’s being published helps me to get back into the story I’ve abandoned. Go searching for books that are in the genre you’re writing in and sometimes that gives you an incentive to finish what you started.

Set a Schedule

When I was a freelance writer, I always had a deadline looming so it gave me practice and discipline for my fiction work. Look at your calendar or planner and set a date for the completion of your first draft. If you need to, pretend that’s the day your editor or agent wants to read it.

Change Things Around

Maybe you were growing bored with the story and it needs new life. Try switching things around. For example, if you were writing in third person, change to first and vice versa. Even try writing in present tense.

Give Yourself Permission

Trying to be perfect can stall lots of projects. Give yourself permission to be awful. Relax, take the pressure off yourself, and remember this is a first draft that’s for your eyes only.

 

Writing How Tos Writing Tips

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3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I have no incomplete stories lying around as I write fiction only for writing prompts.
    However I have lots of unfinished non fiction in my computer as well as handwritten in notebooks.
    I will use your tips to try and finish them.

  2. I love your tip about switching POVs. Rewriting a story from third person to first really helps me connect with the characters on a deeper level. And sometimes I don’t even reread what I’ve written. I just let the story quietly rest, and eventually, the characters will tell me which direction to take the story. Then the elements that were strongest or that had unrealized potential will rise to the surface. I’m actually working on rewriting the first fantasy-romance I ever wrote, rewriting it from third to first person. It’s so different, but I feel ready to write that story now in a way I wasn’t a decade ago. Thanks for the insights! 🙂

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