Yesterday I started writing a short story that I was excited about. I was so proud of the first paragraph and thought my story had a killer opening that really grabbed the reader. Then I got past the opening and my excitement started to fade. I found myself writing a lot of dialogue, but it felt like a chore. I started analyzing what I was writing and worrying about the ratio of dialogue to the narration. I started thinking about my word choice and if I should change the point of view. Basically, I was getting bored by what I was writing, which let my mind get in the way.
I sat back and thought about what many writers have said in the past…if you’re bored writing it, readers are going to be bored reading it. Trying to find quick fixes to make my words work was not going to help the problem. The problem was that I was not in the flow of the story. I was not enjoying myself and letting the words come out. Why did this happen? It was because I hadn’t found the story yet. I was writing in the world, but not focused on the interesting aspects of it.
Today, I found my solution. I started from scratch. I didn’t even look at what I wrote yesterday, just started the story over with the character right in the thick of where he needed to be and let myself go from there. I wrote 1000 words in less than an hour where yesterday I struggled to get 1200 in multiple hours. Those 1000 words are so much better than what I produced yesterday as well. Now I can’t wait until my next patch of free time today so that I can continue writing the story. It’s amazing how much changes when you start telling the correct story!