Story · tips · Writing

How to Work on Your Novel Away From the Desk

Copy of Copy of Wolves & Ravens-3

With the 4th of July quickly approaching, you might have plans to spend the holiday with friends and family, maybe go out and see some fireworks. But through all this, you are probably wondering how you will make progress on your story. How you will reach your daily word count with most of your day being spent away from your desk. Here’s how: daydreaming.

Daydreaming is probably how you stumbled across your story idea in the first place, right? Carson McCullers said that “The writer is by nature a dreamer-a conscious dreamer.” Daydreaming. It’s probably how you came up with your characters, the world they live in, the plot. And just because you already came up with these elements, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop daydreaming about your story.

Daydreaming quote.png

I personally do it all the time. Whenever I’m away from my computer and have nothing to do. I start to think about what it going to happen next in my story. But instead of trying to come up with the words to describe what will happen next, I try to visualize it.

Visualizing the next scene in your story can be more productive than just imagining the next words that you will write, as visuals are easier to remember. Also, visualizing the next scene will help you open up to more of the five senses, allowing you to imagine what your next scene will smell like. What your character might be feeling. What they might be tasting. What the sounds surrounding them might be like. Is your character traveling through the woods? Is it nighttime or daytime? Or is the sky turning a deep purple as the sun sinks toward the horizon? What do the trees smell like? What noises are the birds and animals making?

Another way that you can work on your story away from your desk, especially if you are still in the brainstorming phase of your story, is to do just that. Brainstorm. You can spend the time to try and figure out plot holes, character backstories, flesh out more of your story’s world. You can jot these down for later use. And as you write, this knowledge will naturally bleed into your writing, making your story, your characters, and your world seem more realistic and not just like cardboard cutouts.

With these ideas in mind, you can rest easy knowing that you really can have the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the holidays with friends and family without worrying about whether your novel will suffer because of it.

-Wolf

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