Today multi-published author Stephen D. Sullivan shares some
My Favorite Writing Tip Is...
"Park on the down-slope."
As all of us know, it's easier to get a car going (especially with a manual transmission) if you park it going downhill rather than uphill. That's what "park on the down slope means," and the same principal applies in writing.
You never want to leave off writing on an "uphill slope." That is, you shouldn't stop writing for the day when you're stuck. That makes starting the next day all the harder, and we all know how difficult it is to keep writing day-after-day in the first place.
So, you want to stop each day with a clear, downhill path ahead of you the next day. End on the high point that will make coming back to the story easy the next day. Often, I'll even rough-plan out upcoming plot points for the next day or two, and jot them down in the manuscript. Sometimes this is as easy as just transferring notes from your outline into the main writing file. And when you do that, you may find some new ideas (or better ideas) than you had when you planned things out in the first place.
That really makes writing a joy the next day.
Also, if you can anticipate a tricky spot -- a place where you might get stuck -- coming up, stop well before you reach that. Let your mind consider it overnight (while you sleep), while you work, etc., and then use your down-slope position on the next day to get a running start at that "uphill" problem.
You'd be surprised what difficult problems your brain can work out while you're doing other things. For instance, today, a great solution for an upcoming story problem popped into my head while I was mowing the grass. Now that'll go into my outline, and it will be there as part of my "down-slope writing" when I get to that part of the book.
Always Park on the Down-Slope.
Your writing habits and word count will thank you for it. #
Stephen D. Sullivan's is the author of 40+ books including his latest movie-based books, Manos: The Hands of Fate (nominated for a media tie-in award) and his own Godzilla version, Daikaiju Attack.
Great advice, as always!