There are as many techniques for successful productivity as a writer, as many schools of thought on the subject, as there are writers out there.
Some writers insist that focusing on a single project, and devoting all your energies to it, is the best approach. The only approach to take. That dividing your energies between multiple projects lessens the quality of energies devoted to any one single writing project.
Although there is some measure of truth in this philosophy, I don't adhere to it at all. Sometimes the best thing you can do for a story is walk away from it, let it rest, give your mind another project to work on, so that you can work through whatever block you're struggling with—on a subconscious level.
The solution will come with time, when it's ready.
At which point, the story will return to the top of the to-do list, ready to cooperate fully.
Personally, I adhere to the school of belief that when a writer has "block", it's the mind's way of saying, "there's something fundamentally flawed in this story's structure, and as it stands the story cannot hope to resolve itself logically with any success."
It brings to mind a computer software program with a fatal error.
If, instead of hunting down and repairing the error, you instead create innumerable subroutines to alleviate the symptoms of the flaw, what you end up with is a Microsoft operating system. I mean, a mess. *ha*
One you can't hope to untangle. Not with any amount of effort or good intention.
So instead of pushing forward, slogging through to the culmination of a flawed plot, or flawed characters, you go back to the beginning and assess the assets on hand. Pros versus cons. Where can I shore up the positive attributes, strengthen and build on them? Identify the cancerous growths that undermine the resilience and vibrancy of the storytelling. Cut them out, without bias or regret or guilt.
And then rebuild, from the foundation up. Incorporating what remains into the new structure.
Optimally, one has a blueprint for the design. Otherwise…you end up right back where you started. Having a vision of what the end result should look like is great. Awesome. Building a blueprint puts it all down where you can see it. Where you can tweak the little details, and increase the quality of the end result. This is kind of like how an artist or painter will step back from their work every few minutes. Stand there and stare at the progress they've made. Identifying the places that aren't quite right. The points in the picture that don't reinforce the overall effect or impact.
It's why the old-school painters (Leonardo Da Vinci comes to mind here) had a hundred sketches of the painting, before they ever put brush to canvas.
Okay, maybe not a hundred.
But enough to refine the image, the overall impact, over the course of a series of sketches, before the end result took actual form. There's no room for error, when carving marble statues, for instance.
So…outlining a story naturally leads from this train of thought. It becomes a necessity to do so. Otherwise the artist expends energy needlessly, fruitlessly.
And I am so tired of wasting my writing energies. They manifest rather sparsely, as it is.
Yay. Plot outlines. K
Muses are going, "nooooo…I Don't Want To."
Time to break out the whip and start cracking it. I've been much too lenient and indulgent with them, obviously.
I mean, really. Vacationing in Bora Bora? While I freeze my ass off? Seriously. Way too indulgent. I want some sun too, damn it.