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Taking a Break.

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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

If you choose to take a break, have you broken your habit?

I’ve written just over 63,000 words in the last 7 weeks, with the aim of writing at least 1,000 words a day.

I established the habit I wanted of writing a minimum of 1,000 words a day.

Then two days ago, I stopped writing.

It was a conscious choice.

The story was going fine. I am a ‘pantser’ by inclination and, creatively, I was having no problems.

The problem came from the characters themselves.

They were easy characters, working well together.

They had a plot which was going forward and had layers. They didn’t grumble.

But they pull me to one side and ask me one question – we know what’s going on, but does the reader?

I looked blankly at them and then asked for more coffee.

They were right.

I was leaving the reader to make big leaps in understanding of the characters from subtle clues in the things they said.

The characters left me alone to work the problem out.

The first thing to do was stop writing.

Another one thousand more words which weren’t quite hitting the spot wasn’t going to help.

I realised I was going to have to make changes in what I had written so far, but I wasn’t going to do that now.

Finish the story. Edit after.

What I needed to do know was realise all of the character points I knew in their backgrounds, and let that information out to the reader, without them having to do an ‘escape room’ puzzle to work it out.

I am writing a thriller. Not a character trait treasure hunt.

I have dropped the reader into the midst of a group of tight characters.

The reader needs to understand how they got where they are and why.

I am the writer, so it’s my job to get them up to speed.

The main characters know we are back to work as normal tomorrow.

Break-time is over.

I’ve looked them in the eye, and I think they believe me.

By Herbie

Writer, Christian, Husband and Father.

2 replies on “Taking a Break.”

Hope to read your thriller soon. And you are right it’s always good to take a break and look back. During this lockdown, I am trying to be as productive as I can but I am also reminding myself multiple times that I got to take a break.

Your characters feel to be really interesting and how immersed you are in them, Hope to meet them soon.

Best wishes from The Strong Traveller and have a great day

If you got some time then check out my blog. There is some travel and lifestyle content which you may find interesting. We try to come up with new and interesting things every day. Do follow if you like it 🙂

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Thanks for the positive comments! This lockdown has – hopefully – made all of us look at elements in our lives differently. After this is over, I wonder if we will have more of a desire for travel or more a desire to stay within what we know and are comfortable with?

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