Writing Time, Part 80. 10 Minutes and 1 Strategy for Moving Along a Manuscript

For those of us attempting to fit our full-time writing careers into our full-time lives, one great two-step strategy may help.

  1. Ask What one action comes next?
  2. 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 are only 10 minutes to spare in a working day, it’s worth asking “What’s the one thing that comes next?” If the answer is “Chapter Three”, we’re not about to write Chapter Three in ten minutes on a Thursday afternoon. But, what really comes next may not be Chapter Three itself, but a design:

  • on outline of the general action
  • or an arc for the POV character
  • or a design for exchange of power
  • or a sketch of the central image,

and any one of these may be done towards Chapter Three in 10 minutes. Whether we think it through, draw a snowflake, or write a quick outline, we’ve gone a long way towards writing that chapter. It’s a mighty satisfying way to finish busy Thursdays, too. Or crazy Mondays. Or fly-by Wednesdays…

I hope you’ll have another great week in your writing career. Cheers Mel


If you enjoy Mel Anastasiou’s writing tips, you might try her pocket-sized writing guide The Writer’s Boon Companion: Thirty Days Towards an Extraordinary Volume. Motivates, organizes, encourages, inspires.

From Pulp Literature Press

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