If a scene isn’t coming together, try using a bulleted list to help you work through it. Include character action, introspection and motivation, as well as interactions with other characters or your setting. Focus on creating a step-by-step list of how one thing leads to the next. Don’t worry about writing complete sentences at this stage of the process. The goal here is to figure out the sequence of events and how your character reacts to or is affected by those events. Once you have a solid list of things to highlight in the scene, work through those bullet points by turning them into prose.
Tag Archives: practical prompts
Don’t let the holidays stall your writing. Now is the time to test out new strategies to keep making progress on your manuscript. Try dictating into your phone when you’re away from your computer. Or, keep a notebook in your pocket while you’re shopping to capture brilliant lines before you lose them. Experiment with a few voice-to-text apps for your portable device. If you’re revising, print out a hard copy of one of the scenes you’re working on and keep it with you. Then, if you’re stuck somewhere waiting, you can use that time to edit it. By getting creative, you’ll be able to move your project forward despite your busy schedule.
This week, we celebrate Thanksgiving – a day when families gather together and carry on long-held traditions. As you work on your manuscript, decide how family traditions, or the lack of them, will shape each of your characters.
When you attend a writing conference, workshop or book fair pay attention to how the established authors talk about their books. Note how they engage the audience. Do they tell you the story, how they wrote the story or a combination of both? Does the tone of their presentations match the genres of their novels? How do they project their voices and use body language to draw the audience in? Then, apply what you learned and decide how to best connect to your audience.
Writing styles change over time. Books you loved that were written years ago might not be publishable in today’s market. This week, pick out three contemporary books in the same genre of your story and plan to read them in your down time.