Thursday, 17 March 2016

Things I've Learnt About My Writing Process

I've been a little bit absent on the blog this month due to the fact that I've been focusing on my work in progress! Last year I had a goal of getting a first draft of a novel off the ground but it never really took off due to procrastination. This year I've taken a slightly different approach to writing and I've found some tips and tricks that have really worked for me!

Planning, Planning, Planning!
Planning is an interesting one as I think how much you plan your novel varies from person to person. In general most writers are either planners or pantsers (where you make it up as you go along), but I've found a combination of the two works best for me. I need to know my characters goals and key events in the timeline but I don't like to restrict what happens too much as I find as I write, things can change and new ideas develop along the way.

Mini-word Goals
I decided to make life easier for myself by giving myself 2000 words per week goals. It's so much more manageable and takes the pressure off the 80,000 word finale that I'm aiming for by the end of the year. Writing a whole book seems like such a daunting task, but cutting it down into a few chapters a week suddenly becomes not only manageable but aspirational too.

Just Get Started
Oh lordy, how many times I have started and rewritten and jumped between my book ideas, deleting entire pages and giving up before I've even started. Just starting writing is all you have to do. You don't have to start with the first scene of the book, just write something down. I've also fallen into the trap of struggling to work out ever single finer details of the plot in the first draft but have since decided that's exactly what second drafts are for!

Act on Positivity
Writing is an incredibly emotionally draining hobby, in the best way possible. But, that also means that as writers we can be ecstatic with our work one minute and beat ourselves up the next. I think I actually understand the plight of the tormented writer since I've begun consistently writing this year. Acting on positivity means I like to start writing when I'm in a good mood so that the confident vibes are flowing. It also means I finish writing when I'm still feeling inspired and happy rather than completely at my wits end.

Take On All Of The Advice
I'll be the first to admit I am an amateur when it comes to creative and fiction writing but soaking up as much advice, finding what works for you as a writer and chucking out the rest is a great place to start. I've read lots of advice on planning and developing your book, some of it which works for me and some of which doesn't. One thing I've found really helpful is to have a really good idea of who your characters are. Answering simple questions about what they like, how they react to certain situations and what their goals are, are great ways of clarifying their personalities in your mind.

Are there any things you have learnt from starting a work in progress?

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