I’d sit down and type away until I ran out of steam. I’d find out what the story was along the way, BUT unlike most panthers, I didn’t realise that at the end of the draft, you were supposed to rewrite, often several times, to fix the story & plot issues.
This meant usually 2 things happened:
I would run out of steam half way through, not sure of where I was going with anything. This formed the larger part of my writing. Most pieces were abandoned.
I would finish a piece, but it wouldn’t be very good. I’d get disappointed that the story wasn’t better, but hadn’t spent the time making it better.
Story is the only animal that eats itself to reproduce.
That is to say, we consume other stories for inspiration for our own.
I was talking to a poet at work today—my day job is in tech support, so this is not necessarily commonplace—and we riffed on how important it was for writers to read, and read widely. We discussed how it was important for genre writers to read both their genre but also outside their genre too. Then we talked about how any media can be learned from to create another.
Obviously there are more direct analogues between media that are used specifically used to tell stories—film, tv, comics, fiction writing, etc—but you can easily learn from sculpture, or music, or whatever.
So give yourself a break for binging a Netflix series instead of writing your project. You’re just refilling the well of ideas and, if you’re keeping half a critical eye open, learning new things to try in your own stories.
Of course, this is rambling free advice and as such may be worthless. Use your own discretion.
I’m going to preface this post by stating the obvious:
When it comes to writing, there is no correct way to do it.
Want to use a 6B pencil on Post-It notes? Go for it.
Keep notes in a Moleskine? Sure.
Write the whole thing in Microsoft Word? People have.
Hell, George R. R. Martin writes in dos. (Not recommended.)
So, find what works for you. Just know that Microsoft Word has been superseded by many great apps that are designed for novel writing, rather than office documents.
Second thing: It does matter
Hang on, aren’t you contradicting yourself there?
Yes. Here’s why: The world is complicated.