Change of perspective
So, I hit that delightful brick wall that sometimes materialises like a TARDIS in the middle of writing. It’s quite a high wall and you can’t see over the top. You try to chip away, writing a bit here and a bit there but when you read it back over you see it has no effect. It blocked my view of the immediate path. I could see the end though, because it’s at the top of the hill and somewhat distant. What I knew for sure was that I did not by any stretch of the imagination, however vivid and bloodthirsty it might be, want to give up.
I realised what I needed to do was change my perspective. Alter the view-point. Side-step the wall for a time. Did I pack a bag and go on holiday? No. No, I stayed right here with the laptop and thought about how I could take the writing into a different arena. It occurred to me that when I read on the Kindle or from a paperback, I spot every single glitch with ease and see the story unfolding much more easily. With other people’s work at least. Might it work for my own?
Not having a printing press in the attic, it had to be Kindle. A bit of converting to html later and processing into a Kindle book, I was ready to read it as though it was someone else’s work. It took longer than I anticipated. I’m used to reading it one part at a time for edits. Sitting down and reading the first half of my own novel as a single entity was a curious experience and swallowed time voraciously. I used the Kindle to highlight any issues to address at the end and it put quite a smile on my face that there really weren’t any horrible, glaring errors and very few typos. There wasn’t much to highlight and that was a huge relief.
That reading Inkredible swallowed time even for me was no doubt a good thing. It didn’t feel like a chore either, which was definitely a good thing! What reading it through in this way really did for me as the writer though, was open the story up again so I could see that immediate path. Side-stepping the wall put a slightly new perspective on things. I now know exactly what I need to do and it feels right. I’m smiling again and I can feel the intensity of the story burning through my veins on its way to the page.
If you’re hitting walls with your writing, I cannot recommend enough the idea of formatting up what you’ve got, taking it out of the writing field and into the reading, then sitting down and taking the whole thing in as one piece. It’s too easy when you’re writing to lose sight of where you are because you’ve been so entrenched in the process. Approaching it as a reader and not as a writer for a brief time gives you the ability to view your work as a whole and see where it needs to turn next. You don’t have to transfer it to Kindle. You can print it out, view it on a different computer or even in a different room to normal, as long as you’re looking at it in a different light. The relief is tremendous. Try it – it just might help!