Don’t force your novel to your will. You never write the novel you think you are going to write.
Unleash your characters. Don’t waste time making decisions about characters by investigating them from the outside in. Rather, open to your characters from the inside out. What makes a character tick? What’s inside a character’s heart and emotions? What is the drama that arises from her or his life?
Allow yourself to be surprised, awed, and shocked by an emerging character. Don’t judge them. Don’t turn from them because you don't like who they are or what they do. Love them. Let them guide the story. This is a huge challenge, and it will take you on the ride of your writer’s life!
Be bold. Don’t be afraid to over-write in your early drafts. If you’re not sure where to go next, put your characters in a high-tension scene, like a fight, or great passion of any kind. Then give it all you’ve got. It’s always easier to write from high drama instead of, say, a lovely stroll through the park with your characters holding hands.
When it comes to writing and creativity, the bigger the risk the bigger the payoff. With that in mind, ask yourself, what is the one thing I could never write about? Then sit down and write about it. If you do this successfully, you will have gone a long way to defanging your Inner Critic. And you don’t need to show this writing to anyone!
A lot of early writing is garbage, which is good. Garbage is fertile with possibility! In an early draft of your novel, you’ll write lots of scenes that never make it to the finished novel.
Nothing you write is wasted. You’ll never get to where you need to go if you don’t write more than you’ll ever use.
Don’t despair over awkward, terrible writing in an early draft. We all write sentences, paragraphs, and more that sound like chickens scratching! IT DOESN’T MATTER! Worrying over language in an early draft is a sure fired way to slam into a writer’s block.
See the world through the characters’ eyes; write what the character feels and follow what the character does. As Stephen King says, “I’ve always wondered who I am when I write because once I’m doing it, I’m not in the room with myself.”
Stand back in awe and watch your stories and characters evolve. Your imagination is more powerful than your thoughts and is waiting to welcome you, the fiction writer, home.