Who doesn’t say they want to write a novel or book “someday”? I hear that all the time, but most will sit on the sidelines and wish without ever doing it. You don’t have to be one of that group.        

Or, maybe you’ve begun your first novel, but you’ve stalled out somewhere along the way. How do you get going again and finish your novel? Here are some techniques that worked for me in writing my suspense/thriller, THE POISON CUP: 

·         Set a specific time and place to write every day. See this as an appointment just as certain as the one you make to get your hair cut or your teeth cleaned.

·         Keep this appointment every day; establish a routine, even if it’s just for thirty minutes, until you have to pull yourself away from your writing desk to take a break.

·         Did I say “write something every day”?  The longer you wait between writing sessions, the more difficult to pick up the thread where you left off.

·         Keep a brief diary noting “what I accomplished today” and “what I need to do next.” Check it each day before you begin. That helps to “pick up the thread.”

·         Before you begin a new writing session, read your last chapter aloud.

·         Try clustering or stream-of-conscious free-writing to get your right brain cranked up.  I use clustering to brainstorm plot timeline, character backstory, whatever I need to brainstorm. You will be surprised where your mind will take you on a clustering adventure. (For more info on clustering, see Rico’s WRITING THE NATURAL WAY.)

·         Shut out the critic in your head. Once you get down the first draft, tweaking is the fun part.

·         Find a critique partner who will give constructive criticism without destroying your confidence. Set a certain number of pages to write each week; Exchange pages with your partner in time to critique before your next meeting. This helps establish accountability.

·         Avoid the ever learning, never writing trap. Evaluate all those writing clubs and classes you attend and eliminate most of them. The most effective way to improve your writing is to write. Nobody can do that for you.

·         Finally, push on to the finish line, one step and one day at a time. Just do it!

What are some of your roadblocks to writing?

Do you have techniques to share that re-start your writing engine?





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