Maintaining Momentum – Being a Productive Writer
Let’s face it – spare time is a rare commodity these days. And unlike say… doing the dishes, writing a novel is not one of those things you can elbow through and cross off your to-do list. It takes time, patience, perseverance, and a good deal of faith. I recently celebrated my first release, Secrets of the Knight, available from Crescent Moon Press. But it took effort and commitment. And a good investment of time.
Even when there aren’t major events happening in our lives, just the day-to-day grind can often make it hard to be the productive, prolific writers we would like to be. Thankfully, through the years I’ve been able to find a few strategies that have worked for me.
Here’s one of the biggest – making sure I’m prepared before I even get to the keyboard (or notepad, or alpha writer, or cocktail napkin). In other words, I try to know exactly what I’m going to write down as soon as I sit. I don’t mean every single word. But I try to make sure to know where I want to start and the point I want to get to.
This means I’ve been thinking about the story and the words consistently throughout the day. As I’m doing the dishes, I’m thinking about what my heroine might want to say when she speaks next. Or how her facial expressions may change throughout my next scene. Before my bottom even hits that chair, I want to know what words are going to go down on that paper or screen.
Think of the driving analogy. You know the saying – writing a novel is a lot like driving a car at night. You only see a few feet ahead of you. But you can make the entire journey that way. And you see a little bit before you even put the car in gear, right? By the way, for now we’re going to ignore the incessant nagging backseat driver known as ‘your inner critic’. More on him/her later.
So what are some ways you can prepare yourself to have the words before you sit down? There are quite a few. First, observe your surroundings. Notice the details around you as you go about your day. In the grocery store, look at the ways people are interacting. Does one shopper seems agitated? Or frazzled? How can you tell? What are some of the ways you can describe what you’re seeing? How can you correlate that to a character in your story who will be agitated or frazzled?
In other words, think of your story and how the world around you may parallel what you want to write next. Is this going to work for every scene? Of course not. If you’re about to sit down to a fight scene or steamy romance scene, your grocery shopping isn’t going to lead to any great ideas that day. (If it does, you shop in way more interesting stores than I do.) But it will work often enough.
How about in the gym? Before you start cranking the iPod, take the first 5 minutes on the elliptical to go over the next scene. Even if you’re a seat-of-your-pants writer who knows exactly what your next scene will be, do you know the exact words you’ll start with? ....to be continued.
Part 2 of Being a Productive Writer will be on 21st November.
Nina Jade Singer has a new release! SECRETS OF THE KNIGHT!
Secrets of the Knight
Several years ago life forced Thomas (Bo) Bowden to give up everything, including the woman he loves, and take refuge on a Caribbean island. Little did he know, he was taking the first step to fulfilling his mystical destiny.
Nicole Balian has come to the small island of Trenado to find a missing teenager. She's shocked to the core to find her former lover instead. And the attraction between her and Bo is as strong as ever.
Working together to solve the unexplained disappearances plaguing the island, they find themselves in a frightening world of voodoo and magic. Trenado's history is shrouded in supernatural mystery. The danger they face serves to reignite their love. But as Bo fights an ancient evil that haunts the island, will Nicole be able to save the man she loves? Or will she lose him once again, this time forever?
About Nina Jade Singer: