Sustaining momentum, both in writing a draft and from a reader’s perspective, is one of the keys to creating energy on the page. How to Write and Sell Historical Fiction by Persia Woolley, a successful trilogy author, offers some helpful advice on keeping your story moving from concept through completion.
In Persia’s experience, many writers get themselves bogged down in polishing their prose as they go, which is often a recipe for frustration. As she puts it, “…keep telling your story; do not give in to the desire to stop and perfect each segment before you tackle the rest.” If you stop and tinker with each piece, she warns, you lost momentum because “…you are nowhere near experiencing the flow and excitement of creation.” It’s far more productive, in her view, to write through your full draft and then go back and refine it.
Why? Mainly because readers like to be “carried forward by the pull” of a story. To provide them with this experience, while writing, “…you need to keep your tale moving from peak to peak, following the arc of your story to climax and denouement in order to carry your audience along.”
If you stop and tinker with a little segment here and one there, you can’t move your story forward in a dynamic fashion. You may end up with some polished prose, but you’ll sacrifice narrative energy and drive. “So keep those words flowing,” Persia advises, “and worry about polishing individual chapters when they are part of a completed whole.” And write on!