Writers’ Tips No. 2 – Three Hours To Live

Reading & Writing

First drafts are the hardest. Once you’ve created something to work with, you can shape it, develop it – but at the beginning there’s nothing on the page. Once you’ve put something down, though, an odd thing often happens.

You find yourself writing something you didn’t really want to write, and aren’t really interested in. This happens because you’ve picked a subject which you think will interest others – but it has to interest you first. My least successful stories all get diverted down this strange route.

The way I fix it is to avoid the plot completely and create a character, giving them plenty of strong quirks. It helps if I physically draw the character on a piece of paper. Then I imagine that character being told they have three hours to live. What would they do?

There are lots of tricks you can use like this. The main thing to avoid is sitting in front of a blank screen all day.