You may recall from the last update on my work in progress that I decided to re-write everything from scratch because I wasn’t happy with the opening chapter. Since then, though I’m much happier about the state of my WIP, I am much less happy about the slow progress of my writing throughout September. While most of the problems that prevented me from getting as much done as I would have liked were (as usual) out of my control, I fully accept that there is one issue that is in my power to affect: Time management.
It’s a Bank Holiday today and I’m bored so I’ve decided to answer one of the default questions that Goodreads presents to every author who signs up to their author program. The question I’ve chosen to tackle is perhaps the most common one an author gets asked: how do you deal with writer’s block? What I find most interesting about this particular question is the assumption that writer’s block is inherently a problem, and that it needs to be overcome. Personally, I’ve never viewed the matter in those terms so writer’s block has never been a genuine source of frustration to me. Whenever my own creative writing is brought to a grinding halt by writer’s block, I take it as a sign that I need to take a break from my story, so that’s exactly what I do. And depending on my frame of mind that break will manifest in one of the following six ways.
In recent years I have noticed an amusing trend in which some people will immediately cry out “plot hole!” when something they don’t like occurs in a book, television show or film. I often find that a cursory inspection of the complaint reveals that whatever plot element the person in question is objecting to, isn’t actually a plot hole, at all.
In order to help out these individuals, I will hereby take this opportunity to define and illustrate what a plot hole is; and conversely, what is not a plot hole.
This is a slightly revised update of a post I originally submitted back in 2014.
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It seems that many writers have a preference for silence when they sit down at their keyboards to work on their novels, short stories etc. There is an obvious logic to this preference, yet it is one that has never worked for me. Whenever I have attempted to write in complete silence, I’ve found that my mind is much more prone to wandering; meaning I am unable to concentrate fully, resulting in me being more easily distracted, which of course means getting less writing done.