Dramaquill's All Things Writing

May 10, 2013

Writing a novel is like running a marathon.

Writing a novel can seem like a daunting task, especially to the first-time newbie.  A novel is long (according to Wikipedia, it’s 40,000 words or more)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_count#In_fiction

A novel needs a plot that can sustain all those chapters and keep the reader interested until the very end.

http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/Plot.html

http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/plot-outline.html

A novel requires characters that people will care about enough to keep reading.

http://thewritepractice.com/resources/characterization/

http://voices.yahoo.com/unique-tips-creating-memorable-characters-your-315059.html?cat=3

But most of all, you have to sit on your butt and write…and write…and write.  And here’s where I think it’s similar to training for a marathon.

At first, it’s very likely you won’t be able to just sit and write and everything will fall neatly into place.  You’ll need to develop stamina to keep you there for the long run.  Just as an athlete has to work up to the distance of a marathon (http://running.about.com/od/marathontrainingfaqs/f/What-Is-The-Distance-Of-A-Marathon.htm)
a novel will consist of a large number of chapters.  To me, writing each one is somewhat similar to running each mile (or kilometre) of a marathon.  It may sound and look daunting when you think about it as a whole, but tackling it one unit at a time will get you to your ultimate finish line.

Runners train for marathons.

How can a writer train?

* choose your genre
* start with an idea for a story
* build on that idea
* develop your main character(s) and secondary characters
* Start writing the rough draft
* Don’t worry about editing until you reached the end of the story you wish to tell

But whatever you do, keep going!  Push through when it gets hard.  Seek support from fellow writers.  Read blogs and articles to motivate you on days when you want to quit.

Like any big goal, getting started is the hard part.  Break it up into small, attainable goals and you’ll have that novel written before you know it!

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March 6, 2013

Sometimes it’s good to stop writing

I’m sure many of you have had to put a long-term writing project, like a novel, on hold at one time or another. If you’re like me, I get very frustrated and stressed when other activities (like work/other writing deadlines/family issues) keep me from spending that necessary time on my next book.

Such has been the case the past couple of months. I was still writing, but there just didn’t seem to ever be enough time to spend even a few minutes on my second suspense novel.

Yesterday, I was finally able to free up a thirty minute block of time for this novel. I grabbed my notebook, the one where I had summarized all the chapters I’d written thus far, and flipped through them all to re-connect myself with all the plot details.

That took about fifteen minutes.

As I flipped onto the first blank page at the end of chapter thirty-five’s summary, ideas began to pour onto the pages, mapping out the next six chapters and leading me toward what I believe will be the ending of this book. Prior to my unscheduled break from this project, I had been struggling to see my way through the plot and definitely had no idea how things would end.

Today I may be able to spend forty-five minutes on this project – actually writing a draft of the next chapter.

So out of absence comes new-found creativity. Sometimes it IS good to stop writing.

December 6, 2011

Nanowrimo aftermath

 
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Well it’s been nearly a week since Nanowrimo (the national novel writing month) ended and participation in the event has given many writers a rough draft of a new book or at least several thousand words toward such a project.

Did I win by writing 50,000 words?  Nope!  But I still won by participating.

Nanowrimo forced me to get back to working on my sequel suspense novel and because of the discipline of having to write something every day in November, I now have some 17,000 more words added to my book and a much clearer understanding of not only my ending, but also the areas I will now revise and rewrite to make the book its best.

Did I participate in Nano this year in hopes of finally winning with 50,000?  A part of me would have liked to have achieved such a lofty goal.

Am I disappointed that I didn’t cross the perverbial finish line so to speak?  Absolutely not!

All writers know that writing is a solitary job.  Having the discipline to stick with a long project like a book manuscript requires isolation from others (both online and off) and a real commitment to sitting down and fleshing out the story.  With all of life’s distractions, getting ample time to finish such a project can be extremely difficult.  Nanowrimo provides just the push that I need, especially at a time of year when life is busier with the impending holiday celebrations.

Thanks Nanowrimo for another great year!  You kick-started my first novel which definitely helped me on the road to having it published.  Hopefully, my sequel won’t be far behind.

November 2, 2011

Nanowrimo…And we’re off

 
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November is Nanowrimo month – a time where published and aspiring novelists vow to write approximately 1600 words/day for the entire month of November.

What’s the payoff?

Fifty-thousand words in a month’s time. This can be a great start to a new novel or the chance to complete a book that’s already been started.

I fell a little short of my goals yesterday with 1,163 words on my suspense novel, Amorous Obsession, but I did a lot of planning/plotting so I’m still happy with my progress.

And…I also wrote a few more pages on my pirate musical (sadly they don’t count in my Nano total LOL)

To participate in all the action:
http://www.nanowrimo.org

Happy writing!

May 20, 2010

Resources for writers of Suspense

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Just thought I’d publish a list of links for those of you writing in the genres of suspense, mystery, thriller or one of the sub genres.  There’s a wealth of good information online to help you with everything from plotting to characters to creating suspense.

http://www.writersdigest.com/article/nine-tricks-to-writing-suspense-fiction/
This is one of the BEST articles I’ve read online!

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainstorm/200905/mary-higgins-clark-failure
for Mary Higgins Clark fans.

http://www.creative-writing-solutions.com/suspense-writing.html

http://www.writers.com/singer_classes.html#mystery

http://www.marisamontes.com/writing_tips.htm#top

http://www.writerswrite.com/fiction/michelemartinez.htm

http://www.peppersmithbooks.com/Writing%20Suspense–Pepper%20Smith.pdf

http://www.ehow.com/how_4893767_write-suspense-novel.html

http://www.imperfectclarity.net/?p=559

http://rayannecarr.wordpress.com/for-writers/

http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2009/08/secret-to-writing-thriller.html

http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/genrefiction/tp/mysteryrules.htm

http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/mystery/

http://www.mysterynet.com/learn/lessonplans/

Hope you enjoyed the links.
Now…get back to that novel!

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