- Outline the opening scene at least briefly (either in your head or on paper) before you begin writing. I chose to outline the major elements of this novel, but left everything else open. I am a pantster for sure, but I need to stay on track.
- Once you begin your novel, ALWAYS write the first 1-2 paragraphs of the next scene and jot down a few bullet points of what you hope to accomplish in that scene before closing for the day.
- Reread the previous scene before beginning the new scene. This is perhaps the most important step for voice. I have to know the mood of all characters in the previous scene before I can dig into the next scene.
- End chapters where they naturally end -- don't force it! You can add later.
- (This one may just be my psycho-self) Keep moving forward. I may edit *a little* while I go if something pops into my head, but I refuse to allow myself to analyze previous scenes. Why? That scene may not make the cut during revisions so why am I killing myself during the 1st draft to make it perfect. I feel the writing process should work like this: 1st draft--bones, 2nd draft--muscles, 3rd and subsequent drafts -- blood and the yucky/good stuff, final draft/line editing -- concealer to cover up the dark circles you created from all those other drafts. :)
Now how do I personally work through hang-ups or writer's block. First, music. If I am writing an intense scene I must have music playing that is theme appropriate for my MS. Second, photos. I would say dialogue comes easiest to me, world building is the hardest. This sounds so silly, even for me to type it now, but it's true. I detest overly descriptive books. I am a true skimmer. I have put down many-a well written books because the prose was overly descriptive, which let's face it, produces a boring story. I try to avoid over-kill descriptions so much that I often have to add in description during later drafts. For this reason, I need photos to help me create my world.
How about you? What's your daily/weekly word count? How do you work through writer's block?
I am going to *try* to begin a writing schedule of 5 am - 7 am M,W,F,S, Sun. I can't abide by the schedule on T,Th due to the day job. I'll let you know how that works for me. :)