Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming

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How can I slow down thoughts in my head when writing a story? I love to write stories. But I've noticed that when I read over work, events that I though came much later in the story came fast. Are the any tips I can use to slow down events in my head and make the story seem less rushed?

Expert Answers

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It is not necessarily so much a matter of slowing down thoughts in your head as getting the thoughts that are in your head down on paper.  You can make sure you get all of your ideas in a few ways.  You will have to see which way works best for you.

You don’t want lose your ideas.  In his book On Writing, Stephen King comments about the elusive nature of ideas.

We are writers, and we never ask each other where we get our ideas; we know we don’t know. (p. xiv)

So you really want to take advantage of the ideas you have.  They are a gift.  Don’t stop them—use them.

  1. Brainstorm first.  You can do this by quickwriting (writing down whatever comes to your head), listing, bullet points, or webbing.  If you get all of the ideas out, it will be easier to put them in order and format them later.
  2. Speak into a tape recorder or use a typing program.  Sometimes you can get the thoughts out faster than you can type.  Speaking into a tape recorder allows you to keep ideas for later.  You can sort through them more slowly then.
  3. Hand-write first.  Some people write faster and more freely when they actually take pen to paper.  It may seem a little old fashioned, but it may actually be more comfortable.  You can take ideas later and finalize them while typing.
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