J.A. Stinger

Words Can Inspire The World

How to make progress on your novel without writing #Writers #WritersLife

I’ve started a couple of novels and always, I mean always, reach a point where I’m stumped.

What next? I let it rest. I research. I go to another project. But above all, I keep writing and still fretting over the unfinished novels.

This past week I read an interesting post on other things a writer can do that will keep the story moving, without writing. You heard right. Without writing! Thank you  SUE JOHNSON for a great list.

Number one we’ve all heard of and I’ve done.

  • Make a collage or vision board.

This is a great visual aide but while fun didn’t do much to move my story forward. Pinterest is a great place for a vision board or collage.
But I’ve got to admit I never thought about the others on her list. It amounts to walking in your characters shoes.

  • Bathroom habits.

Never thought about my character’s bathroom habits. Have you?
Do they wax, or shave? Shower or bubble bath? Blow dry or curls air dry?

  • Fragrance.

Try wearing your characters favorite fragrance. Is it Vanilla, Floral, Musk, Lavender, Old Spice…

  • Location.

Visit, either physically or virtually.

  • Music.

Fill your house with music, not the kind you enjoy but the music your character enjoys.

  • Beverage

If you’re a coffee drinker but your character enjoys tea, switch for a day or two.
Martini or cold beer? Try the one you envision your character drinking.

  • Colors.

Wear the characters favorite color.
Add something in your bedroom or living room in their favorite color.

  • Vehicle.

Go to a showroom and sit inside the type of vehicle the character drives.
Take a test drive.
Ask a friend.
Need a tractor go to a farm
Historical novel, visit a historical society.

  • Purse/Pockets

Look in your purse, handbag or pockets. Do you carry any of the things your character would? Maybe you can add something.

  •  Fashion

Clothes horse?
What type?
Vintage, couture, bargain?

  • Bedroom

Is there a way you can change something in your bedroom to mimic your characters? Maybe add soft bulbs in the lamps. Switch sheets to scratchy bargain 300 thread count or spring for luxurious Egyptian Cotton or sexy satin.

  • Computer

Literate or a newbie
Laptop or Ipad

  • Handwriting

Practice writing as you think they might with a beautiful script or an ugly chicken scrawl using your right or left hand.

  • Entertainment

What does your character do for entertainment? Watch TV, go to the movies, read books, newspapers or magazines? Whatever the answer is you need to follow in their footsteps here too.

Number 19 on her list was  my favorite.

  • Possessions.

She suggested the writer should think about the possessions of the character and search for something they might like to own. To find a small article to use for inspiration as you write.

What a great idea! Thrift shops here I come!

As I wrote my own list, more and more ideas popped into my head.

What about you? 

Can you add another tip to the list?

Any of these tips new to you?

Do you use any of these techniques in your writing?

Will you use any of them in the future?

Which one did you like the best?

To read the entire article look for the link at the bottom of this post.

I’d love to hear from you! Click to write me or contact me on Twitter @jeancogdell, Facebook at  jean.cogdell and Amazon.com, stop by and say hey!

The lights are on and I’m waiting.

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