Bullshit Writer Tricks That Don’t Work #1: “At the end of each session, always leave a sentence half finished”

A top tip you see on the forums is:

At the end of each session, always leave a sentence half finished. That way it will be easy to just start writing next time.

Wonderful advice for some, I am sure.  Not for me.

Monday, some domestic emergency – curry about to catch fire, I think – brings my writing to an abrupt halt.

Tuesday morning, I sit down to work. The house is empty.  I have on the Kingdom of Heaven soundtrack, and to hand a cup of homemade latte. Life is good.

I open Scrivener and here’s where I left off:

As William made his apologies, the sound of raucous singing penetrated the stone vaults. Henrik took William’s arm. “Perhaps we stay. Drink wine?”

William shook his head. “No. We need to get back to Eustace before the curfew bell.”

Henrik’s brow furrowed. “I…”

William needed a complete

“Wow,” I thought. “I left a sentence half finished. That should make this morning easy.”

Then I fell to thinking, “Complete what? Complete change of clothing? Complete victory over the forces of darkness? Completely drunken binge?… WTF was I thinking?”

362

“…I axed the damned sentence.”

And that was half-an-hour down the toilet and my first hour derailed.

I did the dishes, put the washing out. Finally, I sat down at my desk and I axed the damned sentence.

THEN I started writing.

(The real wisdom behind the bullshit trick, of course, is that it helps to know what you are writing next. That  way you can kick off your session with drafting rather than tinkering and staring into space. That’s what outlines are for.)

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