Imagine that we already have everything we dream of in our careers. Then ask what would a summer’s day look like in my ideal writing life? I used to see every summer’s day as a vacuum to fill with writing. But these days, instead of powering up and missing all the good times, I imagine […]Read More Summertime in a Writing Life. Writing Time, Part 89
One of our greatest statesmen has said that a change of work is the best rest. So it is. -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four The summer doldrums bring with them some excellent thinking time. Schedules change up in these months, and sometimes ideas for projects shake loose at the same time. As […]Read More Change, Rest, and Revival. Writing Time, Part 88
“Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – attributed to Albert Einstein. When revising, it can be worth spending a half hour with the word “As” at the start of sentences. I search through my own work, tossing “As”es into hedges, for it is the slug in gardens of good storytelling, when it involves simultaneous actions. For example, […]Read More Revisions Coaching, From Albert Einstein. Writing Time, Part 87
So, after Revisions Strategy, Parts 1 and 2 , there’s a clear shape to the book and we’re reacquainted with our character’s driving forces. As well, we have 4 outlines, the most recent on top. Having set aside a few golden seconds to picture our ideal writing life and career, we take on the next […]Read More Practical Tips, Part 3: Revising That Beloved Older Manuscript. Writing Time, Part 86.
Taking 5-15 minutes towards chunking down a revisions process is a smooth move for those of us who want to be prolific and publish often. Here’s one way to approach a second or third draft of a novel after mulling itover (see Writing Time, Part 84. Revising That Beloved Older Manuscript, Practical tips for Time Management, […]Read More Revising A Beloved Older Manuscript. Practical Tips, Part 2. Writing Time, Part 85.
If you’re revising an older novel in the midst of present-day writing projects, the process of chunking it down can be a lifeline to a busy writer. Here’s one way to begin it. Chunk 1. Mull it Over. This is the easiest bit, and also the hardest, because I want to read my old ms… […]Read More Writing Time, Part 84. Revising That Beloved Older Manuscript, Practical Tips, Part 1
I like to think of outlining as fractal, like a rocky coastline. The jagged water’s edge looks similar—not identical, just very like—if seen from space, an airplane, a tower, a rooftop, or from a crouching position at the water’s edge. Story sections also look rather the same at different planning elevations. Whether it’s the 7-volume arc, […]Read More Writing Time, Part 83. Time Management for Writers, a Fractal Approach
If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. –Jim Rohn In every profession, success experts agree: set your course. If not, not only do we writers not get done what we dream of doing, we end up […]Read More Writing Time, Part 82. Designing Plans for a Writing Life
Self-discipline rarely goes amiss, but what if a writer examines a great writing mood and figures out how to encourage it? For example, planning not just a time for writing but planning the mood for it as well. Everybody is different, of course, and I’ve heard good writing moods encouraged by: Spending time alone in a […]Read More Writing Time, Part 81. In the Mood for Writing
For those of us attempting to fit our full-time writing careers into our full-time lives, one great two-step strategy may help. Ask What one action comes next? Chunk the next stage of work down, to the smallest possible size. Of course, we keep the big picture—the whole book, series, career— in mind, but when there […]Read More Writing Time, Part 80. 10 Minutes and 1 Strategy for Moving Along a Manuscript