What works for me…

Don't Look DownWhat works for me, may not work for you. It doesn’t even work for me all of the time, but this is what I think I know about writing a novel:

Write every day (to keep the world and the characters fresh and alive).

Keep writing – no matter how badly – until you get to the end. Then you can rewrite. And edit. A lot.

As you’ve probably gathered, I’m not a planner. I make collages and soundtracks that ‘feel’ like my book and keep notes in a journal, but to find out what’s going to happen in the story and who the characters are, I need to write it. Which means I need to write straight through a craptastic first draft before I can think about making the story work.

Yeah, it’s not very efficient.

I’m not alone, at least. The wonderful Jennifer Crusie calls the first draft the ‘Don’t Look Down’ draft as you have to keep moving (like Wile. E. Coyote running across a chasm – he only falls when he looks down and realises there is nothing holding him up).

I hereby pledge to write every single day until this draft is done.

I’m a slow writer, but I think 6000 words a week is perfectly possible, so that’s my goal. I’ve put a word counter thingy (thanks Keris!) on the side bar to record my progress.

So, writing every day equals win. Writing 6000 words a week equals smug win.

And I so want to feel smug.


2 responses to “What works for me…”

  1. somethingnewplease Avatar

    You have some very solid advice here. While I would love to write a novel someday, I’m stuck in the gestures that accompany brief scenes and ideas. Maybe someday.

    Enjoyed your advice,

  2. Sarah Avatar

    Hi D – thank you for visiting and your kind comment. I used to get stuck all the time (and still do) but the secret is… Just keep writing. Good luck if you decide to try it! Now I just have to take my own advice and finish the book!