Appointment to Write

A Pen In Each Hand By Beaver

Want to get that novel you’ve been “meaning to write” actually written? You need a plan. Take some time now and plot out a writing schedule (when & where) that you can keep for the next 3 months, 6 months, year–however long you can see yourself planning in advance. (When you reach the end of your schedule, either revise it or extend it.) Sit down with your daybook and ink in your writing appointments. Now, treat ’em just like work, school, and pesky dentist appointments. You don’t always want to go, but you go anyway.

Seeing the Big Picture

A Pen In Each HandBy Beaver

Have a complete story/novel that you can’t seem to stop editing? Try this. First, read it straight through without changing a thing. If you find this impossible, you may have more success swapping stories with a friend and doing this exercise for each other. Once you’ve read your whole story, set it aside and just think about it for a while. What are your themes? One or two main themes should consistently guide the action. Did anything seem out of place or seem not to fit? Scenes and chapters should run seamlessly together to build the story. Don’t worry about the details–just think about what images and ideas linger even when the words aren’t in front of you. For more about seeing the big picture, read Stepping Back.

Write What You Know

A Pen In Each HandBy Beaver

Write a 500-1000 word article on something you are already familiar with and/or have an interest in. Interview an expert on your subject and include quotes to flesh out your article. Verify your facts are accurate by referencing at least one independent source. Post it at What I Tell You Three Times is True for feedback before you start querying it.