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: writing life
Write by Midnight wraps up today and we hope the past month has helped you create daily habits to sustain your writing through the completion of your manuscript.
In addition to our regular posts, be sure to check back with us on the last Monday of each month for our Write by Midnight Pep Talks that include tips and inspiration to help you keep your momentum going.
Until then, here’s how each of us fared with this year’s challenge.
Laura: Because I was working on a new manuscript during this year’s Write by Midnight session, my goals were to “work on” the project every day in February. Generally speaking, my method consisted of a two-part “plan then write” formula. On one day, I would plan a scene during my designated “writing” time. My planning process included figuring out what needed to happen in the scene, what obstacles and/or growth the characters experienced in the scene, and basic research since my new WIP is a historical fiction piece. Sometimes, the planning process involved talking through what needed to happen next with my writing friends. They are consistently a source of support, encouragement and solid advice. Then the next day, I used my writing time to write that scene now that it was clear in my head. Sometimes, the writing of the scene took me two to three days. As soon as one scene was completed, I repeated the process. Plan, research, discuss, write, repeat. I’m happy to report that I completed five scenes by using this method. But more important, my story stayed in my head every day during the month.
Stacey’s been on fire with her writing, so she’ll check in with us later to share her thoughts on Write by Midnight.
Megan: Write by Midnight was hugely motivating for me this year. I started the month at a good place in my manuscript where I had all (or most) of the plot snarls worked out and a clear outline all the way to the end of the manuscript. That preparation made it much easier to pound out higher word counts and to take advantage of short writing periods. I set a goal of writing 14,000 words to finish my manuscript by the end of the month. I wrote 11,330 words and made it to the end of my manuscript with an entire week to spare. I used the extra time at the end of the month to plan out my revision and set goals for next month.
Naomi: While I didn’t always greet my 5 am wake -up call with a tender nod to the morning, I did manage to write for all but six days out of February. I gotta say, being in cahoots with other writers was a massive energy surge for me this month and I got excited about two projects that had been collecting dust! One of my main goals for this year’s WBM was to revise 1/3 of the YA manuscript I finished a while back (Ok, fine, I’ll be honest. A long while back!) Some days were definitely more productive than others and I confess I didn’t quite meet my goal. I’d like to believe my less productive days, ones where I only managed to revised a single paragraph for instance, still propelled me forward. Everything we do counts. It is believed that Vincent Van Gogh once said: “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” It’s a great reminder. Because piece by piece things are coming together.
We’d love to hear from you about your Write by Midnight experience. Tell us how you did, what you learned, what you’d like to see from us next year and what your writing goals are for the month of March.
As we head into the final stretch of Write by Midnight, don’t get frustrated if you’re struggling to get words on the page every day. Sharing your difficulties here and with other writers who have been there can help you gain insight into what might be holding you back. Let the WriteOwls community offer strategies to help you get back on track. Likewise, if you’ve been rocking Write By Midnight, now is the time to share the secrets to your success. Hearing about your accomplishments is always motivating.
Today, get your head space in the right place to write.
Start by doing something physical to get your blood pumping and your creative juices flowing. Before you sit down to write, try taking a walk, dancing to your favorite song, stretching exercises or jumping jacks.
Then, clear the air – literally. Open a window, even if it’s just for a moment if it’s chilly outside. Light a candle, burn some incense or turn on an essential oil diffuser. Take in slow, deep breaths.
Finally, channel your inner muse. Close your eyes and think of the scene you plan to write. What mood do you want to convey? Try to get in the heads of your characters and envision what they would say and how they would act. Strive to reach a calm moment of clarity.
Once your head is in the right place, open your eyes and unleash your words onto the page.
Check back next Wednesday for another tip to help you stay the course during Write By Midnight.