As you know, I’m attempting to write something longer than 500 words ( I believe they’re called novels or something,) but on my fiction quest – I’m picking up tips from fellow writers to help me along.
Here’s some effective writing tips that I’m using currently to help me write quicker :
To plan or not to plan?
My writing buddy Liam, has been planning his book over the past year. He’s the kind of writer that likes to plan in detail his plots, threads and characters before he actually writes. It’s a method that’s recommended, because you’re more likely to have a story with a simple a, b, c formula without it going on, on, and on ( Lord Of The Rings style.)
My specific part of me, likes this approach very much. I’m the kinda girl that likes to plan out the small details but not in book terms. I have tried this committed approach and it’s left me with 3 unfinished novels…
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve a very short attention span, so the idea of having to plan a, b, c puts me off. So I’ve taken this method and used it in a non committed way. I’ve loosely (emphasis put on loosely to trick myself) set out a structure to avoid unnecessary information which results in writing sequels before I’ve attempted my first story!
The useful thing about having a loose structure is that you can get writing (the fun part) straight away. It also means that you’re able to mold and go back and add without having to change big parts of the story line. It leaves more room for flexibility but I have been warned that the story can take on a life of its own. Discipline is the key here.
Have you ever sat looking at a blank page trying to find the words for an opening scene? Or, you’re looking for a word, and it just won’t come to you? Although in your head, you know what you mean but your hands are having a hard time translating. It’s a recipe for writer’s block! Here’s something that I learnt when writing articles… if you get stuck, leave it blank or put an ‘X’ to remind you that it needs filling in later.
At the moment, mine’s full of X but it’s allowed me to get on with mapping the first draft out. Without getting too caught up in the specifics, resulting in me throwing in the book (pun intended.) When it comes to writing chapters that don’t seem to want to be written, I simply describe what’s happening and what my characters are doing or should be saying in a way that script writers do.
The ideas is to set the scene and for the actor to fill in the detail, and you’ll do this at a later stage when you’re feeling more inspired. It really works for me instead of pondering about what kind of sentence I should be using.
Set an alarm for a short time frame, say 15 minutes and see how much you can write within that time. Ignore spelling, sentence construction and grammar. Focus purely on getting it out of your head and on to paper /screen.
I did this when experiencing a bit of block, and I’ve found that the short time frame gave me an adrenaline rush. Now I do half an hour intervals, and have made huge headway as a result of this method!
I would love to hear any tips that you have for quick and effective book writing. Please feel free to share them in the comments sections.
Thanks for reading!