Sunday, April 19, 2009

What I've Learned, So Far. #1

What I've Learned:

~ Actually think about things like tense before getting too far into the first draft. I'd rather fix it at 50 pages than at 400 pages.

~ Detailed outlines ROCK!

~ After writing for the day, go back and do a quick edit for grammar, typos, etc. I'll save so much time.

~ Don't dwell over the word count. I get obsessed and spent more energy figuring out how many words a day I can write to finish it in a certain amount of time. Worry about it once the story is done.

~ While cookies are good motivation, I never manage to get past the first goal point before eating all the cookies. Way to fix that: Have someone hold the cookies hostage. Someone who can't be bribed.

~ Carry at least a small notebook EVERYWHERE. I need to put a big one in my car. The little one in my purse can only do so much.

~ Routines rock, but are so hard for me to stick to this year. So I've learned not to stress over it. It is what it is.

I figure I'll be updating/changing this constantly. Every time I 'learn' something about my writing process. What's easier, what works, and definitely what doesn't work.

What are some things you've learned as you've advanced in the stages of writing?


  1. All great points!!!! Very important ones too. Thanx for sharing.

  2. I write a chapter by chapter outline where I think my story will lead. Sometimes I'm totally off. They're not very detailed though; each chapter might have two paragraphs, tops.
    I adjust my grammer as I go if I catch it, otherwise I'm not too worried until I finish a draft or two.
    I used to worry about word count, now I just don't care. My latest draft is around 72,000 words which might be a bit low, but it is what it is. (I trimmed about 12,000 words of fat a few months ago.)

    One thing I haven't learned is managing my time better. Since I started working nights, my schedule is all screwed up.

  3. Thanks for stopping by you two!

    I already have another thing. It will never be PERFECT, but it can be as good as the picture in my head.

    Charlie, I'm with you on time management. I don't have a good reason like a schedule shift though. I'm just bad at managing my time more often than not.


  4. What I've learned is that sometimes if you can't drag yourself to the computer to write the manuscript you're working on, sometimes for a day it helps to write something different (even if it's only a page or an outline for a future book). It can sometimes help with the dreaded writer's block (sometimes).

  5. Oooo! Someone to hold the cookies and dole them out when appropriate. A cookie czar, or cookie keeper, if you will.

    Even better - a dispenser of some sort, where if you reach a goal, a cookie automatically drops from the ceiling! (Or delivers an electric shock when you slack off or miss a deadline... too far? Ok. Maybe no shocks.)

  6. Haha! I need a dispenser, or something. I ate all the cookies before I even got close to my goals. The cookie bribes work much better when my husband is home. lol

  7. I've learned that the "voice notes" feature on my phone is the way to go when I'm driving and an idea hits me. Trying to write and drive at the same time almost caused a few accidents.

  8. I should try that Karen. The other day I was driving and an idea hit me. So what'd I do?

    Pulled out my notebook and tried writing while driving. Didn't work out so well. The notes I did manage to scribble down, before I realized what a stupid thing I was doing, were mostly legible.