Tag Archives: structured writing
Suggestions on How to Get Out of a Writing Rut
Has there ever been a time when you wanted to get essential thoughts down on paper but just could not get yourself moving to do so? Whether you are a writer, student, or simply someone wanting to inscribe a thank you note, it can happen. The magic question is what can be done to get out of the rut?
Think about what you are trying to write about in the first place. Start by focusing on the task at hand and then begin mentally de-cluttering your mind of everything else.
Put your thoughts down on something tangible like paper or a computer. If you are anything like me, as soon as a great inspiration pops into my head I have to immediately write it down. When you have a busy schedule, it’s very easy to forget things. With this method, you then have the option to go back to your notes later on. It’s a helpful way to kick-start your creative juices to get it flowing again.
Select a means to push your productivity. This can be a special room, a selective piece of furniture like a bed or chair, a special music playlist, or even something straightforward as a change of scenery like sitting in the park or going to a coffee shop. Whatever you decide to do it should be something that is refreshing, and will give you the ability to concentrate.
All it takes is the decision to get started, and as long as you stay motivated and passionate you have the foundation to work through getting out of a rut.
R. Lynn Archie
Using Points of View (POV) in Your Writing
When I first began writing, I wasn’t aware that stories were written in points of view. So, what is a point of view? Simply put, it’s a way that writers allow readers to see and hear what’s going on. Point of view in books will contain detail, opinion, or emotion the author wants to accentuate; therefore, a point of view catches the attention of the reader.
The Three Major Kinds of POV
First-person point of view involves the use of either of the two pronouns “I” and “we”. The advantage of this point of view is that you get to hear the thoughts of the narrator, and see the world depicted in the story through his or her eyes. A good novel selection would be Twilight by Stephanie Meyers. The main female character Bella Swan is the narrator; we see things from her point of view.
- (Example) “I loved Phoenix. I loved the sun and the blistering heat. I loved the vigorous, sprawling city.”
Second-person point of view, the narrator tells the story to another character using “you” and “your”. This is the least used POV. You will see this used more in literature such as a cook book. Although a perfect selection of a novel used this way would be Jay McInerney’s, Bright Lights, Big City.
- (Example) “You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning. But here you are, and you cannot say that the terrain is entirely unfamiliar, although the details are fuzzy.”
Third-person point of view is the most popular of the three and uses pronouns like “he”, “she”, “it”, “they” or a name. The narrator isn’t present as a character. The writer may choose third-person omniscient in which the thoughts of every character are open to the reader, or third-person limited, in which the reader enters only one character’s mind, either throughout the entire work or in a specific section. A good third person POV book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
- When Jane and Elizabeth were alone, the former, who had been cautious in her praise of Mr. Bingley before, expressed to her sister how very much she admired him.
- “He is just what a young man ought to be,” said she, “sensible, good humoured, lively; and I never saw such happy manners!”
My preference is third person point of view because it’s what I feel the most comfortable with, and it allows me complete freedom in telling my story. I would like to hear from you. Tell me, what point of view you use in your writing?
Mind Mapping Can Be a Useful Tool
Plain and simple, a mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps with structuring your information and makes it easier for you to analyze, understand, remember, recall and create new ideas.
Mind Mapping can be created by hand or software. Some software is free and there are others that need to be purchased. In addition, and because it’s not noted in the linked article, if you know how to use Microsoft Office Excel, it’s another good substitution for creating mind maps.
Whichever way you decide, it all starts out with a starting point to which you write down the main idea that you want to develop. From there, you are going to expand by building supporting subtopics, and as you do so, you connect each of them with a line back to the main idea.
The subtopic step will be repeated so that you can make as many lower layers as needed to support your main idea. Just remember that for each new lower level, it needs to be connected to the top corresponding subtopic. See diagrams below.
I think mind mapping is a great diagram to follow because you can always go back and reference it when you’re stuck or forget something. Give it a try; it might be a helpful tool for you.
Thanks for visiting,
R. Lynn Archie
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An Effective Writing Plan
When I start a story, I always begin by putting my thoughts on paper. I find it to be more beneficial than to sit in front of a computer and start typing. I prefer doing it this way because 1) I’m getting my thoughts down before I forget (I hate to say it, but I get sidetracked a lot). 2) I’m able to set up a starting point and structure where I want my story to go. And, 3) I have a written plan that I can refer to which allows me to put out more work in the time I’ve allotted.
I do have one rule that I created for myself that has worked quite well, and that is never to stop writing mid chapter. When I’m on a roll words come effortlessly, so I always like to continue until I finish a section before I stop. From experience, I found it tedious to come back and try to recreate the flow that I had prior.
Everyone is different, so whatever works for you is what you should stick with to get the best quality use of your time. Do you have a system that you follow? If so, I would love to hear what you do.