My current novel will be finished in two weeks.
That’s a bold statement. And I stand behind it. And I’ll tell you why.
This has been an exciting last few weeks since my last post. I’ll try to encapsulate it all and hope that you’ll find these tools useful as well.
- Use an outline
- This has been instrumental in helping me define my story. After completing the course Masterclass with James Patterson, I knew that I could either have spent $90 with no follow through or spent $90 with new skills/techniques that would move my writing forward. I opted for the 2nd option.
- A huge key for productivity for James is using an outline to write his stories.
- So dammit, I wrote an outline. Felt like being in 3rd grade again but the impact to seeing the whole story laid out has made writing it that much simpler.
- Dictation software
- I mentioned previously that I was going to use Dragon Naturally Speaking which I have but wasn’t using to its best advantage. And I have read a slew of non-fiction writers lately who swear by the software.
- It doesn’t always capture as clearly as I’d like yet, but that doesn’t affect the work, it can be used as an excuse. And I’m not allowing it. The reason I’m saying that is I know that the software will improve for me with more usage. So I’m not planning on using an excuse and just keep moving forward.
- Sprints and moments in between
- I read “5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter” By Chris Fox and he talked about doing 5-minute sprints. His is not the first book that suggested it but it was the first time I actually decided to follow through. I usually can only do these type of exercise for about a week before I get bored. This time, it was different because I also had to track my word count. And I did the sprints with pen and paper and also by recording into word documents or OneNote.
- I copy and paste each sprint into my Scrivener document.
- The absolute key to all this is Do not edit anything. And that means absolutely nothing. I don’t fix missing commas, grammar, punctuation. I will do all that once I have the story on paper.
- Talk about it
- Put your timeline out there if you are a habitual procrastinator. Have someone read your outline (if you choose) for holes before you start writing. If this feels like it will dilute your process than don’t do it. I had 2 people read mine and the questions only help me write a clearer story.
- After you are finished, then clean it up. You can have beta readers do a clean read with a solid checklist of what you want them to look for or read for pleasure and tell you what doesn’t make sense. I think a clear direction helps so that you get solid information about what needs to be fixed.
Can’t wait to see how this all turns out.