You’re awake. Instead of writing the Great American Novel—or even a mediocre one—you’re reading our blog. Okay, then. We offer a topic; you respond. Let your fellow writers inspire you, and return to that manuscript refreshed
Question: How do you get back into a writing routine after you’ve spent some time away from your story?
Once a year, my writing group does an informal write-a-thon in which we vow to find time every day for a month to write. Our most recent write-a-thon began Feb. 21, and I am happy to report that I have written every day. Some days, for hours. The problem is, I have only spent eight of those hours writing my manuscript. The other hours have been spent writing something for someone who is paying me to do so. Continue reading
Megan Norris Jones
I look for help with my writing technique in all kinds of books, whether they’re designed for writers or not. One book where I found some really helpful insight is Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard by Dan Heath and Chip Heath (brothers, in case you’re wondering). I first saw it referenced in a Writers’ Digest article about the discipline of writing, and a month later, my brother gave me a copy. Clearly, I was meant to read it. In the book, the authors discuss research that suggests that willpower is a finite resource. Continue reading
I always wonder how productive I actually am during my writing time. I see words collecting on a page in my journal or in the info bar of a Word Document, so I know my story is at least growing mathematically. But despite hard evidence, I believe there is a difference between truly using my writing time constructively and simply accumulating a word count.
Hence, the idea to analyze my productivity through observational experiments arose. (That, and I thought it would be fun to write a blog post Continue reading
In an attempt to get a handle on my novel’s first draft, I’m scheduling weekly goals based on my plot outline; the more solid that outline, the more accurate the schedule. (I hope.) So, in this post I’m reviewing the basic structure of the three-act plot.
One problem I found in trying to learn three-act structure, is that there are inconsistencies in how different authorities refer to things; Continue reading
You finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.
PROMPT: Up the conflict in your story. Go back to the last scene you wrote. List five twists that would have made things worse for your character. Now rewrite the scene using one—or more—of those ideas and see if it raises the stakes of your story.