There is madness in writing. Writing a story requires more than time, imagination, and will. It requires reining in the madness and applying some common sense. This article looks at three areas in particular.
Tinkering; No matter what you’re writing, novel, short story, poem, a letter to your long-lost aunt (the one with the treasure chest hidden in the attic), a complaint to your local supermarket, at some point you have to say, basta!
Absolutely, editing is important, but going under the hood and moving things about, won’t always guarantee your text’s performance. Revise, re-draft, but when you get to the point where you think, hey this is good, or even pretty good, move on! You can test your masterpiece with a third-party later, the point now is getting it finished.
I’ve done this. I’ve written a piece of text that shone, shone I tell you! Then I had to go read it out, ponder, reflect, then on reflection, I rewrote a perfectly good chapter! I went ahead and began messing up the cadence, the rhythm in pursuit of some vague attribute known as perfection. If you love to create novels or not, these guidelines will help you. The temptation when you are writing is to go back and continuously tinker with what you have written. You create six words, decide that they are the wrong words, so you cut them and type a few other words. Then you will decide that those words are completely stupid, and you may do better. So you drop them again. You may always fix it later, throughout the editing process. A book that takes several hours to read it took several months, and occasionally several years, a generation even, to complete.
Considering that you’ve just got a specific amount of time daily to spend on your book, prevent re- studying what you’ve written just as much as possible. Re studying wastes time, the time you should be spending creating your book.
Outline: Just Do It. If you do not an outline, get in the habit. Your outline may be a simple list of what you plan to cover in the book. If you don’t write that outline, odds are you won’t complete the book as you may lose momentum. If you do not know exactly what happens you are operating without a safety net. You will paint yourself into a corner, or you will wander off on weird tangents.
If you recall this one simple principle, you may write your first book or books. Once you’ve finished your tentative outline, feel free to focus on anything, a chapter or a scene that strikes your disposition on a specific day. If you are writing a novel, and wish to write a scene that takes place in the center of the book, feel free. Also if you’re writing nonfiction, there is nothing stopping you from writing Chapter Seven before you compose Chapter One.
Let the madness in writing begin!
Meanwhile, try Angela Booth’s comprehensive Write a Novel Collection. Discover the secrets and create the skills you need to compose ANY book, from how-to guides to books and memoirs.
You can read excerpts from her novel here on New London Writers
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