Saturday, May 2, 2015

Apostate 1.0

     Day . . . ah, who's keeping track of the days of my apostacy anymore? Not I.
     This post is numbered 1.0 because I finished Rachel Aaron; 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better. Now reading Libbie Hawker; Take Off Your Pants! When I finish Libbie's book, I shall change the numbering to 2.x.

     These are my highlights from WF,WB, with edits to make things clear:

1. I was doing the hardest work of writing (figuring out what needs to happen to move the story forward . . .) in the most time-consuming way possible (ie. (sic), in the middle of the writing itself).

2. If you want to write faster, the first step is to know what you're writing before you write it.

3. Every writing session after this realization, I dedicated five minutes . . . and wrote out a quick description of what I was going to write that day.

4. Of the three sides of the triangle, I consider knowledge to be the most important. This step alone more than doubled my word count. If you only try one thing out of this entire book, this is the one I recommend.

5. I . . . note[d] the time I started, the time I stopped, how many words I wrote, and where I was writing on a spreadsheet.

6. A happy writer will always produce more and better than an unhappy one.

7. If writing feels like pulling teeth, you're doing it wrong.

8. [W]hile I loved having written, I didn't actually seem to like writing, and that terrified me.

9. [I]nstead of treating bad writing days as random, unavoidable disasters to be weathered, like thunderstorms, I started treating them as red flags.

10. If you are not enjoying your writing, you're doing it wrong.

11. If your goal is to become a faster writer, the single most efficient change you can make isn't actually upping your daily word count, but eliminating the days where (sic) you are not writing.

12. [D]on't blame your subconscious when it doesn't want to write. Listen to it.

13. [T]he most important step of writing fast is knowing as (sic) what you're writing before you write it.

14. I can easily explain why other people would want to read it.

15. [Y]ou can't afford to work for free.

16. [T]he three pillars of story: characters, plot, and setting.

17. Figuring out the end of a book is my number one priority.

18. If the basics (the plot, characters, and settings . . .) are the scaffolding, [creating the timeline, map, character bios, and scene list] is the concrete foundation the will support my novel through the writing and edits to come.

19. [Y]ou are not nearly as good at keeping track of things in your head as you think you are.

20. Draw a map.

21. Write out who knows what, when.

22. Just because you've already made a decision doesn't mean you can't make a better one. No one has all their good ideas at once so don't be afraid to let go and just write. Plotting exists to make your life easier, not harder.

23. Even if characters start out as passengers in the story . . . they must eventually get up front and start pulling or they'll never be anything more than a point of view.

24. [C]haracters with proper agency will write their own stories.

25. Every character in a book, even the most minor, needs a motivation. They have to want something.

26. [P]lot and character development should be so tightly intertwined they can't be separated.

27. Act I, put your characters in a tree.
Act II, light the tree on fire.
Act III, get your characters out of the tree.

28. The point of the denouement isn't happiness or sadness or even wrapping things up neatly. The point is tension relief.

29. [T]he core part of the writing triangle is knowledge. In day-to-day terms, this means knowing what you're going to write before you write it.

30. If you want your writing process to be fast and reliable, it's not enough to just trust your feelings for what works. You need to know why it works and how it works.

31. [T]rusting you gut is different from being at its mercy.

32. [S]cenes do three things:
• Advance the story
• Reveal new information
• Pull the reader forward

33. [I]f all we're adding is bulk and not substance, we're doing more harm than good.

34. My ultimate goal as a writer is to be able to put out fantastic novels as efficiently as possible.

35. The most effective way [to get better at editing] is to write a lot of books and edit them.

36. [O]nce you invite people inside [your book], it's no longer yours alone.

37. [K]nowledge makes you go faster.

     I put that last one in bold because I found it true for me. I write notes about what will occur in my work-in-progress (wip) at the end of the chapter I am writing. When I finish a chapter, I cut out those notes and paste them into the template for the next chapter. I have things in there that I will not write for several chapters, but a short pencil is better than a long memory, and I will not forget them.
     That is tangent to the point. The point is that by using these notes, my daily word count rose during April NaNoWriMo Camp from 723 words/day to 1,635 words/day.

     Next time I will put up the numbers from my NaNoWriMo Camp. Until then, happy trails.

Links to the posts in this series:
Apostate 0.2 
Apostate 0.1

Links to the books:
Rachel Aaron; 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better
Libbie Hawker; Take Off Your Pants!

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