Monday, May 30, 2011


As writers when we are drafting our stories we ask many questions. The right questions deliver us the answers we need. Too many questions can leave us feeling frustrated and confused.
Over-thinking has brought me undone many times. Perhaps it has been a lack of confidence in myself as a writer. I have finally come to realise there is a huge difference putting thought into something to produce a better result to over-thinking and doing an injustice to my story.

My over-thinking confessions and what I have learned:-

Word Count – Focusing too much on word limits can result in creating a story that is not complete, or on the flip side, a story which has too much padding. If each and every word in your story is needed to move that story along to reach a satisfying conclusion, then that is the word count your story needs to be.

Interrupting the Flow – Searching for answers to questions interrupts the flow of my writing, and I lose my focus on where I am heading. Whether it is questions about my characters’ names, descriptions or connections to later scenes, I avoid dwelling on them. I jot down the questions (to return to them later) and keep on writing.

Hitting a Brick Wall – It is so annoying when the words are flowing like a fountain, and then nothing. Instead of hitting the panic button and thinking too much about what happens next, I either jump to the following scene or accept that what I need to inspire me to complete that story hasn’t happened yet and I begin another writing project.

I think in our endeavour to create something that is publishable we need to bear in mind that putting thought into our creations is a good thing. So write your stories, revise and polish them until they shine, but over-thinking is a frustrating exercise best to be avoided.

Happy writing ....


  1. I can so relate to this. In my first novel I got so bogged down trying to make a particular thread of the novel 'realistic' I ended up not writing anything at all for weeks.

    In the end, it took my husband saying, 'look it's fiction - you can do what you want, as long as YOU believe it' to free me up!

  2. This is something I'm guilty of. I can spend ages trying to get the right name for a character or looking for the word which I know is exactly right for what I want to say but which hovers irritatingly just out of reach.

    I've tried leaving a blank and coming back to it but it just niggles so much that I can't concentrate until I've sorted it.

  3. Hi Karen and Gail. Thank you for your comments. Us writers and our over-thinking!!!

  4. Great post, Diane, and so true. I definitely prefer to leave particular details if I don't them and fill in the necessary information later, rather than slow the writing. But I must have the names right!

  5. Thanks Rosemary. You said it very well, 'rather than slow the writing' ... very true and very important.

  6. Hey Diane, I wanted to let you know that I awarded you the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. You can find out about it here:
    Congrats! :D

  7. Awww thank you Jenna. Heading over there now :-)