7 Ways to Work on Your Story Without Writing

As a writer who enjoys procrasting her writing, I would like to believe I’ve thought of many ways to work on my writing without actually having to do any writing. Different tactics work for different things and different people, but hopefully at least one of these will help.

  1. Find some music. Whether you want something new for pleasure or think some “mood music” for a specific scene will help, looking for music has always helped me envision a new scene. My favorite song for this right now is Halsey’s Castle.
  2. Make an inspiration board. While not usually helpful for myself, I have seen some fantastic ones on Pinterest and Tumblr. I tried for one of my characters, but it devolved into me looking into tattoos for myself and learning the names of obscure colors. Interesting and fun, but less constructive for my story than I had hoped.
  3. Research your character(s)/world. Learn more about a character’s cultural history or a side-character’s disability if you want diversity but aren’t too sure of where to start. Research how plant evolution may have occurred if you’re working on a fantasy story. World-building and character-creating doesn’t have to take place solely in the vacuum of your story!
  4. Learn to draw. If you’re like me and have a hard time properly visualizing descriptions, pick up a pencil and get sketching! I’m not a skilled artist by any means, but finding reference images and sketching places, people, or even objects has helped me get a better feel for what my fantasy world looks like.
  5. Read something else and think of your characters in that situation. It’s not quite like daydreaming, and it’s not quite like writing fanfiction. It’s a nice little in-between area, where you’re still kind of working on your own story while managing to get a break from it, too.
  6. Read something else for pleasure. Maybe you’re not really in the mood to think of your characters in someone else’s word. Maybe it just wouldn’t work for some reason. That’s fine! Just read for enjoyment. It isn’t quite a break from working if you’re exposing yourself to new ideas.
  7. Daydream. Why be conventionally productive at all? Lean back and relax! Close your eyes and think about your characters, your world, and let the ideas fly. No typing, no need to be self-conscious, and re-doing a scene is the easiest thing.

Know another tactic that helps? Let me know!

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