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 ....