On Writing & Storytelling: Some Days, the Story Doesn’t Flow…Other Days, It Does

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

It’s early morning – as I begin to write this, it’s still a half hour before sunrise – here in Lithia, Florida on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. I should, if the Universe had any fairness at all, still be asleep, but I woke up at the ungodly hour of 4:55 AM to answer nature’s call. And, of course, even though I wanted to sleep a few more hours – a wakeup time of 8 AM would have been ideal – I stayed awake. No matter how much I tried to relax so I could at least take a catnap, I just couldn’t do it. So around 5:15 AM I gave up, got up, sat on my office chair at my desk, and booted up the computer.

So, yeah. Hi. Happy Hump Day, Dear Reader.

Oh, well. At least I will write and publish this post on A Certain Point of View, Too early – perhaps before I have my café con leche – and thus clear my morning writing time to work on my new story.

(Spoiler alert: As of press time, I have not had breakfast. What can I say? I’m a slow typist.)

Funny thing about writing: some days you can’t get a word out, and some days you can’t stop. Take yesterday, for instance. I had been banging my head against the wall all morning and most of the afternoon, trying to make some progress on Project X. That’s what I call my latest story, because the real title would give away too much of the plot. I don’t know yet if it’s going to be a short one or a long one, but I do know it’s a good one. At least I hope so.

“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot if difference. They don’t have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough.” Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

What I wish my Muse looked like…..Photo by Ekaterina Nt on Pexels.com

I don’t like to brag or complain about how much I write every day on this blog of mine; I’m not the kind of guy who sticks to a strict schedule or sets a quota for himself. I write when I feel like it, and sometimes I don’t feel like it at all. It depends on my mood, you see. When I’m happy and relaxed, the words flow like water. When I’m down or stressed out (usually about things like life changes and broken hearts), I can barely string a sentence together. Writing then is like pulling teeth.

On Monday, the first day I started working on Project X, I was lucky to get 240 words on the page. It took me hours, and they weren’t even good words. They were dull and lifeless, like dead fish on a hook.

Yesterday looked like it was going to be another one of those days. I couldn’t even think of a catchy quote to start the story with. I was ready to settle for a measly 300 words, tops.

The death of a Polish Mi-24D Hind. It happened just as the scenario – the new Static Defense – ended, so this “kill”was not recorded in the after-action report at game’s end. Graphics and game elements from Regiments (C) 2022, 2023 Bird’s Eye Games and MicroProse.

But I didn’t want to throw in the towel on Project X just yet, so I decided to take a break and do something else for a while. I read some books, played some Regiments – they had a new update called “Iron Curtain” that looked pretty cool – and listened to some tunes on my Amazon Music app. I was having a good time, but I could still hear Project X calling me from the back of my mind.

I decided to give it another shot, even though it was already 2 PM and I usually suck at writing after a long pause. I sat down at my computer and started typing away. I didn’t pay much attention to the clock or the wordcount. I just let the story take me where it wanted to go.

When I finally stopped and checked how much I had written, I was blown away. It wasn’t 300 or 500 words like I had hoped for. It was 1,029. And they were good words, too. Not perfect, of course, but better than the usual crap I churn out on the first try.

I even found a nice quote to kick off the story!


Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

8 thoughts on “On Writing & Storytelling: Some Days, the Story Doesn’t Flow…Other Days, It Does

    1. 1,944 words (I love the symbolism of those numbers) yesterday and the prologue was done yesterday…at least the rough draft version of it). Today I was thrown by one insignificant detail about how one character talks and my brain went into “Oh, fuck. How do I DO this without having to either overexplain this or use distracting stylistic choices? I’m NOT Stephen King, after all” mode.

      I figured it out by 4 PM, but today’s new-words count was a fraction of yesterday’s. I’m too picky a writer to “plow through” a rough draft….

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