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Writing Tips

The new book is going well, I’ve just crested the 18k word mark and the 2k per day quota is working out fine.  In getting a very nice review on my True Blood fanfic, someone asked for some writing tips and I decided to share them here in case anyone is interested. 

The number one piece of advice I can give is to write every day, I suppose that applies to either.  Unless there’s some kind of cataclysmic event that prevents you, even a few hundred words per day will help you keep connected to your story and keep your momentum going. 

For novels, I always make sure I have an outline before I start so I know how the beginning, middle and end are going to turn out, and hopefully plenty of bits in between.  When you think you’re ready to start writing, don’t.  Take another couple of days to revisit that outline, adding to it and fleshing it out (I even add bits of dialogue that come to me along the way).  When you get stuck on the novel later you’ll be glad for the pre-work you’ve done to get you back on track.

Also, don’t stop writing if you get stuck on a scene.  It’s okay to keep going even if you know a scene isn’t working just right.  You can always go back and fix a scene later but you can’t fix what you never write in the first place.  This I learned from NaNoWriMo which encourages you to just write like crazy for a month with absolutely no editing until you’re done with the first draft.  Before I started writing this way I was always a victim of my inner editor and I’d never get past a few chapters.

Also, also, I find it helpful to set a daily quota for myself when working on a book.  Even if it’s self imposed and no one else will ever know if I make that quota or not, it keeps me on track.  I’ve done it with a 3k a day quota and written a 100k book in 30 days (which is rough with a full time job I admit, but can be done) and I’ve done it with 1500 words per day (which is easier on the schedule but doesn’t quite move things along as well as I’d like) and the one I’m working on now is coming in at about 2k words per day.  This seems to work well, and I can still enjoy some evening time with the family and I should be done in just over a month’s time if I get a little extra in on weekends. But of course YMMV.   

Also, also, also, you’ll want to keep your first book in the 80k to 90k range at the most or publishers won’t take a chance on it. 

In other thoughts, who else is excited that Vampire Diaries is coming back on the air soon?!?


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