1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.
2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.
3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.
4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.
5. Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.
6. If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.
Read more. [Image: AP]
Musical notation by Ludwig van Beethoven (I)
What I find interesting is that the crossed out sections look like they’re faded - as if this was old stuff he was revisiting (I have no idea if that’s true or not - I’m a writer, I make up stuff all the time la la la).
But I’d like to think that it’s the same deal as when I wrote stuff 10 years ago and I’m revisiting it now and going OMG WHUT HOW DOES THIS CRAP EVEN D: and crossing EVERYTHING out with BIG BOLD BLACK MARKS while laughing maniacally before finally writing down how things SHOULD have happened.
(Well, except that I’m not Beethoven, of course, so even what I write now is probably not, you know, like Symphony No. 7 or something.)
“You write. That’s the hard bit that nobody sees. You write on the good days and you write on the lousy days. Like a shark, you have to keep moving forward or you die. Writing may or may not be your salvation; it might or might not be your destiny. But that does not matter. What matters right now are the words, one after another. Find the next word. Write it down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
“A dry-stone wall is a lovely thing when you see it bordering a field in the middle of nowhere but becomes more impressive when you realise that it was built without mortar, that the builder needed to choose each interlocking stone and fit it in. Writing is like building a wall. It’s a continual search for the word that will fit in the text, in your mind, on the page. Plot and character and metaphor and style, all these become secondary to the words. The wall-builder erects her wall one rock at a time until she reaches the far end of the field. If she doesn’t build it it won’t be there. So she looks down at her pile of rocks, picks the one that looks like it will best suit her purpose, and puts it in.
“The search for the word gets no easier but nobody else is going to write your novel for you.”
It’s NaNoWriMo, and it’s that time of the month again. Read the whole thing at http://nanowrimo.org/en/pep/neil-gaiman
augh so far behind BUT I WILL PERSIST. Here, everyone, have some writing inspiration from one of my favorite authors.
Keep going, I’m cheering you on! :D \o/
(Unfortunately, I will probably have to drop, not from lack of inspiration or drive, but from some Real World issues that have cropped up recently. :( But I will keep waving the pompoms for you! *\o/*)
But I still have a zero word count, because I only worked on the outline today. But tomorrow … tomorrow I will put the first official words on paper!
Since we’re pretty much close to the halfway point already, I have to up my initial ante … I guess I may as well go for the gusto. I have no idea what my schedule is like tomorrow yet, but as it’s one of the last few weekend days I have left and work is promising to be very busy this month, I’m going to go for 10k tomorrow. Just to see what happens.
(I’m almost beginning to think I should lobby for some on-line write-in, kind of like the virtual troncon - just do a chat/livestream with all the other tumblr nano writers as we’re all chipping away at our word counts!)
Over a third of the way into NaNoWriMo, and look how many words I’ve written for it so far!
(Comic strip courtesy of Winzler)
I realized the other day that I forgot one crucial aspect of maintaining a manageable writing load - keeping things short. Thus, I added a section called “Keeping things short - and making sure they stay short” to my Kicking Writing Funk in the Face experience.
So, I promised this earlier in the week to a few, and it’s late by some days because I ended up trying to write a whole treatise on the subject instead of a few bullet points. Sorry. Hopefully, <snips>
Yessssss, awesome. Thanks for taking the time to write this up. It seems we’re fairly similar in our anxieties (I put pressure on myself to deliver and then nothing gets done) and how we write (I can’t write anything linear; I have to write scenes and then attempt to stick them together). I felt a lot of what you said applied to me and that made it all the more helpful.
I’ve never given my fics to a beta reader. I think mainly because I like to believe I know what I’m doing and I’m pretty confident in how I want the story to go, but it would also be interesting to get early feedback. I would do it to get actual critique, on structuring and voice and whathaveyou, because those aren’t details people usually comment on in reviews.
Being aware of number of hits/reviews/etc. does help my motivation but can also destroy it when someone else writes a 2 paragraph story that gets a million comments and I put out a full fic that will see 6. I try not to compare myself to others…I write what I want and if someone else likes it as well, I consider it a perk, but sometimes it’s hard not to question what is wrong with my writing when I see things like that. If it’s a matter of improvement, then I want to know how I can improve. If it’s a popularity thing, then it can’t really be helped.
As for reading/watching something exciting…I actually seek out B-movies and horrible fanfiction or cheap romance novels. It’s probably terrible, but seeing what those people produce gives me a boost of confidence. I know no matter how awful I think my writing is, it is definitely better than that.
Cool, glad that we at least have the solidarity going for us! :D
Yeah, I think my biggest problem now in which a beta would be really helpful is consistency. Usually so much time lapses between the sections I write (and I am so impatient when reviewing my own work) that I sometimes end up with conflicting details. It used to be that I had the hardest time with verb tenses too - oddly enough, a year or two of text-based RP fixed that right up. o.O Whodathunkit.
I can hear you on the matter of comparing hits, etc. I dunno - I’m not exactly immune to that, but I think I’m better than most people at simply turning a blind eye to comparison and just concentrating on my own progress. Even in things like taekwondo, I’m usually measuring my progress only against my own past levels instead of other people’s. One thing, maybe, is to just turn off the counters? Winzler showed me a neat setting in AO3, at least, where you can tell them not to track your stats. Then there’s no temptation for comparison anymore. (A sidenote on this is that my work tends to involve a lot of analysis on what might produce viral hits and what produces a flop - I’m more aware than most of the vagaries which can affect people’s responses! So I rarely take disparate hit counters personally anymore.)
Bahahha! Well, I would say, good for you - use whatever you have to in order to get yourself going. :P I figure, as long as you’re not being an ass about it, you dangle whatever carrot you need to in front of your nose to keep pushing ahead. And actually, I think those are great fodder. If it was me: 1) the amount of inconsistencies, plot holes, character-assassinations, and sheer !!! would instigate quite a bit of creative thinking on my part (out of simple reflex), and 2) sometimes, my imagination is sparked more by implausibility than more logical movies and books. The campier, the better!