Thursday, September 4, 2014

Delia Latham: Stop While You're Going Ninety

Delia Latham

The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.
—Ernest Hemingway’s 
advice to a young writer

Our tendency as writers is to write like a house afire when we’re in the zone. Don’t eat, don’t sleep, barely breathe…and above all, don’t stop writing as long as the muse is hanging around.

Which leaves nothing for the next writing session, because it’s “all used up.”

Hemingway’s advice is brilliant. Stop while you still know what will happen next. It provides a place to start the next writing session. No sitting in front of a blank screen wondering what to write, and where your story is going—because you already know. You left the previous writing stint with the fire still burning.

And here’s the really great thing: While you’re writing the scene you deliberately didn’t write yesterday—so you’d have kindling for today’s fire—you’ll realize what should happen next. That's great! Now tuck it away in your mind or your notebook for tomorrow.

This is a great strategy that leaves the door open for a productive writing session every time.

What about you? Do you go in with both guns blazing and keep shooting until you’re out of ammunition…or do you save that last bullet for the next go-round?

DELIA LATHAM is a born-and-bred California gal, raised in a place called Weedpatch and currently living in the lovely mountain town of Tehachapi with her husband and a spoiled Pomeranian. She enjoys multiple roles as Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings. She has a "thing" for Dr. Pepper, and loves to hear from her readers. Contact her through her website or send an e-mail to Find her also at the following online locations:

Living the Write Life (blog)



Amazon Author Page

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