Thinking equals writing

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Recently, my friend was complaining about his revision process.

“All I got done today was evaluating one aspect of my WIP and thinking about it. I didn’t get any writing done.”

But thinking about your story is part of writing and a definite part of revision. Many people write a first draft without an outline and like to follow the character around; in other words, they are very right-brained about it and like to go with the flow. Usually, though, even these writers have to be left-brained at some point and just evaluate what they’ve written.

Thinking

Take the scenic view–what does your story look like from a distance?

What patterns are turning up in my story? Do I like those patterns? Can I strengthen them?

What sticks with me? The characters, a certain plot, a certain setting? And will the same thing stick with my readers?

How can I create more plot twists? Anything unexpected that I can build into the story?

Do I like my main character? Do I create sympathy for him?

Maybe (for those of us who are too left-brained) just take a day and immerse yourself in the world you’ve created. Daydream for the entire day about living there.

So much of revision is thinking and allowing yourself the time to absorb the characters and to feel what they feel! Don’t feel bad if all you do for an entire day is think–or daydream. It’s necessary.

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2 Comments
  • Liz
    August 24, 2007

    Thanks! I’ll remember to give myself permission to do that =)

  • Terrie
    August 25, 2007

    Sometimes, when life gets busy, thinking is all you CAN do! I think and drive, think and walk, think before sleep, think during soccer practice – but don’t consider it thinking. I “write in my head.” By the time I find time to sit down and write, I often have worked out a problem or even scripted some dialogue that I can bang out on the paper.