I get the feeling most of the time when I’m reading writing advice it’s the same couple of points over and over. It’s probably because it’s good advice and I’m grateful for it, but today I thought I’d share some tips I use myself that you might have heard a bit less.
- Change the page colour – writing can involve a lot of staring at a screen and that can strain your eyes. Changing the page colour in your writing program to a pastel shade seems to help, plus it’s a lot less intimidating when you’re faced with a empty pale pink page than a stark white one. Changing the colour (and font) can also help you edit your work with fresh eyes.
- Play video games – they present stories in a new way. We can learn from that. Pay special attention to the story beats : when they come, the pace of the parts between, who they involve. Portal 2 is an excellent example of a brilliantly crafted plot to study.
- Stress yourself out – not too much of course, but in the right doses stress actually makes us perform better. That’s why we get it. Try setting yourself soft deadlines for a chapter or a scene to be done. Or, if you prefer a short term rush of adrenaline, use a site like Write or Die and churn out as many words as you can to avoid the penalties.
- Sleep on it – got a problem with your plot? Think about it for a while before bed, then think about something completely unrelated and sleep. Your mind will keep working on the problem all night and it’s surprising how often the often will occur to you the next morning. No guarantees of course, but it’s pretty handy.
- Take a walk – bring a notebook if you’re the forgetful type, but the important thing is to be walking and not talking. By yourself is best, if it’s safe. Watch the scenery, focus on the feeling of your steps and let thoughts drift through your mind. Some of them with snag and that’s when stories start to form.
You might have already heard some of these but hopefully I’ve given you something to think about. Do you have any weird writing tips? If so, share them in the comments!