I find I write faster, stay focused, and stayed inspired in general if I have a purpose.
What am I trying to accomplish with this particular project? If I have characters, what are their purposes? How are those purposes aligned or at odds?
Reminding myself of this helps me keep writing. It inspires my characters to do things. Sometimes they act in ways that surprise me, but they remain true to their purposes.
This doesn’t mean their purposes can’t change. Sometimes the actions my characters take over the course of a plot can lead to a change of purpose. It can quite exciting, going through the change with my changes as part of an evolution we’ve all be involved with from the beginning.
Sometimes my purpose changes along with my characters, especially if I’m evolving along with them. Or it may be I’ve lost the spark. I no longer recognize the characters as my own.
This is when I’m most likely to stumble, to falter in my writing. I want to pick myself up, but how?
This is a good time to look at the why behind the stumble. What happened to my original purpose? How has it changed? Do I have a new purpose? How is it in conflict with what’s on the page?
Most of the time when I stumble, it’s because I don’t have a new purpose. I’ve lost it. I don’t have anything to replace it with.
Time to ask myself more questions. Why am I still writing this story? What is creating my dissastisfaction? What would I like this story to be? Should I go back to where I stumbled and change things? Or should I infuse new energy into the path ahead by taking my story in a new direction with a new purpose?
We’re evolving, my stories and I. Our purpose gives us direction, even when we’ve lost our way.
How about you, dear reader? Have you used a purpose as a guide when you’ve lost your way during a project?