Monday, November 28, 2011

stolen post

 Today, because I'm lazy busy with my new toy, I'm stealing the post I wrote for Unicorn Bell on Friday which like, nobody saw. Plus I'm not really stealing since I wrote it, right? Anyway, straight from the latest issue of Writer's Digest Magazine, here are 5 things that might help you from The Novelist's Survival Kit:

1. How NOT to Write your Novel:  Wait for inspiration. Oh boy. If I waited for inspiration I wouldn't get a lot done. The truth is most of it is now just habit. I don't watch tv at night except for at supper and on Sundays when The Walking Dead is on. All those other nights I'm parked at my desk from 7-10pm. Since I quit waiting for inspiration I've gotten A LOT more written - and finished.

2. From 6 Secrets to Creating and Sustaining Suspense: Let the character(s) share their plans. Some of you may be thinking that this would spoil things. But since everyone (writers and readers alike) knows a character's plans never proceed without incident, a promise is made which creates tension and suspense. Because those plans are going to go wrong. Definitely.

3. Put Your Novel on the Map: Using a story map (a visual outline) can help you see the direction of your tale and discover what you don't know about it. The nice thing about a story map is that you can start one no matter how much or how little you've written AND you can change things around at any time.

4. Namedropping: I don't know about you but names are hugely important to me and I spend a large amount of time researching the perfect names for my main characters. And I don't name my minor characters lightly either.  A few authors who shine at this are Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, and J.K. Rowling.

5. Tried and True Timeless Novel Advice: There were 23 of these in this part of the article but this one struck me: "If you have a story that seems worth telling, and you think you can tell it worthily, then the thing for you to do is tell it, regardless of whether it has to do with sex, sailors, or mounted policemen." Dashiell Hammett.


  1. Great links, Marcy!! Thanks for sharing them.

  2. Number 2 is hard for me. You know I struggled over how much of Mick's plans to reveal in the opening chapters of my last WIP. Whether or not I finally struck the right balance remains to be seen ...

    I'm going to take a lesson from that in my next project and reveal Ardeth's plans early on.

  3. Thanks!!! I'd say why not try writerly prompts if short on inspiration? Take care

  4. Great post! And a great point about sharing plans, it's the opposite approach from movies, which gives you more room to muck them up I think.

    I'd love to hear more about the story map, I'm curious to know what that looks like visually.

  5. I'm giggling about your post no one saw, not because it's funny, but because I sympathize. My writing group has a group blog and sometimes I feel like that over there. It's my own darned fault, partially--I don't promote like I should.

    I love your advice, though. Great help!

  6. Great guidelines. (And you're right ... how can it be "stealing" if it's already yours?)

  7. I am wondering at how much more writing I would get done if I stopped watching Leverage and Psych. That might be a New Year's resolution for me! Thanks for the reprint of this post!

  8. Glad you reposted this! I don't think it was stealing at all.

  9. This is a post worth seeing. Thanks!

  10. This is great and you're not stealing.

  11. Lingered over your Boothbay photo - and thank you for sharing. And today's post isn't stealing at all and well-worth re-posting. Thanks!

  12. This is fabulous~! It gave me a chuckle.

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