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How to Finish What You Start: A Five-Step Plan for Writers

How to finish what you start Do you have a bunch of first chapters tucked away in a drawer – for seven different novels? Is there a folder full of abandoned short stories on your computer? Have you left a trail of abandoned blogs around the internet? Did your ebook fizzle out after a few pages? Most writers have been there … again, and again, and again. Maybe it’s the same for you. No-one’s going to buy a half-written novel. Here’s how: Step #1: Stop Starting New Projects Believe me, I know how tempting it is to grab that new idea and run with it. Do it: Decide, right now, that you won’t start anything new until you’ve finished something off. Step #2: Assess Your Current Projects Take a long, hard look at all your current works-in-progress. Is there anything that’s just not worth completing? Rather than keeping old projects hanging around, ditch any that have died on you: As with all dead things, holding onto it won’t keep it alive or change the fact that it’s useful time has come and gone. Related:  shaktitanejaWritter's DestinationProductivity

WriteWords - Writing Community - jobs, directory, forums, articles for writers writingbliss.com email courses, e-mail courses, workshops for writers, about writing Max Barry | Fifteen Ways to Write a Novel Every year I get asked what I think about NaNoWriMo, and I don’t know how to answer, because I don’t want to say, “I think it makes you write a bad novel.” This is kind of the point. You’re supposed to churn out 50,000 words in one month, and by the end you have a goddamn novel, one you wouldn’t have otherwise. If it’s not Shakespeare, it’s still a goddamn novel. The NaNoWriMo FAQ says: “Aiming low is the best way to succeed,” where “succeed” means “write a goddamn novel.” I find it hard to write a goddamn novel. Some of these methods I use a lot, some only when I’m stuck. The Word TargetWhat: You don’t let yourself leave the keyboard each day until you’ve hit 2,000 words.

Author Andy Weir Shares Advice on How to Write More You have ideas for stories, but when you launch your word processor, you stare helplessly at a blank page. Every time you try to write, you end up spending the evening watching videos of cats on YouTube instead. Why is this happening? We’ve all been there. Here are a few things that might be getting in your way: (Do you need different agents if you write multiple genres?) Column by Andy Weir, who was first hired as a programmer for a national lab at age fifteen and has been engineering software ever since. 1: You don’t know which story to pick You don’t just have one idea, you have several. The problem with the above logic is that it leads to a stalemate. Solution: Write the first chapter of each story. 2: Stories are always more awesome in your head than they are on paper Your heroine, Susan, had neglectful and disinterested parents. That’s the idea you had, anyway. “Susan first saw Joe at the diner. After a few incidents like this, you got gun-shy about writing. Oh, admit it.

Themes & Things To Keep In Mind When Writing Fantasy Stories and Adventures & Daily Encounter - StumbleUpon This list is far from complete. It’s not even trying to be complete. It knows better than that. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments! Weather Natural: sunlight, rain, snow, hail, fog, humidity, moonlight, wind, smoke, clouds, shadows, overcast skies, clear skies, lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, moon in sky during daytimeFantastic: summoned weather, unnatural coloration (eg. green fog) Terrain Changes Natural: sunrise, sunset, storms, seasons, earthquakes, landslides, sinkholes, animal migrations, inside vs. outside (light adaptation), plagues/famine, weathering, floods, tides, animal hunting habits & territories, volcanoes, firesArtificial: buildings, statues, roads being built & demolished; political power struggles; invasions/war; kidnappingsFantastic: divine will, powerful magic, gods (dis)appearing Landmarks After-Effects of Events Tricks Cultures Mysticism Events Unfolding Harsh Situations fatigue, hunger, thirst, extreme temperaturesenemy territories (invading?

The Office of Letters and Light Blog - When is a Writer a Writer? I’m a new runner. I’ve only been at it for a few months, after walking my very first 5K last year. I’m still overweight, so I’m far from fast, and I’m such a rank newbie that I often ask myself whether or not I can actually call myself a runner. I have a subscription to Runner’s World. This insecurity isn’t limited to running. There have been some pretty controversial articles on this subject on the web. I found clarity in a comment to this blog post that asks when you can call yourself a true runner: “A runner is one who runs. If you write… you are a writer. It doesn’t matter if you’re a published author. A writer is one who writes! Often, our critics will tell us that NaNoWriMo promotes the idea that anyone can be a writer. Well, duh! That’s the point. So the next time someone tries to tell you that you’re not a writer because you haven’t done XYZ, or because you didn’t spend enough time on something you wrote, or didn’t do it to their personal specifications, smile and walk away.

Write Like a Girl (or Guy) If all the characters you create talk exactly like you do, no one but your mom is going to want to read your book—and maybe not even her if you haven't called recently. That's why you need to understand how to write dialogue that sounds authentic, even when your character differs from you when it comes to their age, region, education level, social status, background, personality, and/or gender. Each of these factors plays a role in how a person (real or fictional) speaks, and you need to consider all of them to make your characters’ dialogue sound truly legit. But today we’re focusing on gender. Let’s preface this whole shebang with a disclaimer: Like anything involving differences between sexes, this can be a bit of a touchy subject. Things have improved significantly. Handling problems If you're ever perplexed about how to write dialogue for a character with a particular trait, your best bet is to spend some time carefully listening to people who share that trait. Asking questions

How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day When I started writing The Spirit War (Eli novel #4), I had a bit of a problem. I had a brand new baby and my life (like every new mother's life) was constantly on the verge of shambles. I paid for a sitter four times a week so I could get some writing time, and I guarded these hours like a mama bear guards her cubs - with ferocity and hiker-mauling violence. To keep my schedule and make my deadlines, I needed to write 4000 words during each of these carefully arranged sessions. I thought this would be simple. But (of course), things didn't work out like that. Needless to say, I felt like a failure. When I told people at ConCarolinas that I'd gone from writing 2k to 10k per day, I got a huge response. So, once and for all, here's the story of how I went from writing 500 words an hour to over 1500, and (hopefully) how you can too: A quick note: There are many fine, successful writers out there who equate writing quickly with being a hack. Update! As soon as I realized this, I stopped.

The Complexity of the Creative Personality | The Creative Mind - StumbleUpon Researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi includes in his books and other writings descriptions of the diversity and multiple characteristics of creative people. In a post of hers, Juliet Bruce, Ph.D. notes that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced me-high chick-sent-me-high-ee) wrote, “If there is one word that makes creative people different from others, it is the word complexity. Instead of being an individual, they are a multitude.” “Like the color white that includes all colors, they tend to bring together the entire range of human possibilities within themselves. Here are a few qualities he lists, as Bruce summarizes: A great deal of physical energy alternating with a great need for quiet and rest.Highly sexual, yet often celibate, especially when working.Smart and naïve at the same time. Do you relate to any of these qualities? One of these intriguing areas is androgyny. The photo is actor Tilda Swinton, at the 2008 Oscars, where she won for her role in “Michael Clayton.”

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