The most important thing you’ll do for your story is to get the details right. Spending time on research is every bit as important as writing the prose. Why? Because research is writing. If you’re an independent author who creates your own deadlines, you may want to rethink some things…
“So, Nat, how about a Necromancer Ascending update?” That’s the current most-frequently-asked question, not only on social media and here at Erindor Press, but even from my colleagues at my day job! However, in order to actually give you that Necromancer Ascending update, I have to talk a little about process first. I’ve written several articles about my writing process over the last few years, and I’ve been interviewed a dozen times or so by people who are all interested in the same thing: What does the process of writing a novel look like? My answer? Controlled chaos.
Nothing strikes fear in the heart a writer faster than these two words: Writer’s Block. Whether you’ve been writing for 20 days or 20 years, you’re likely to find yourself staring blankly at the computer screen eventually. But what’s the solution? In my writing journey, I’ve come across at least 8 things you can do right now to break through that feeling of emptiness and helplessness.
I was asked to participate in the “Writer’s Process Blog Tour” by a wonderful friend (and #1 bestselling author!) Nicholas Rossis, author of the Pearseus epic fantasy series. When you get a chance, take a moment to visit him at http://www.nicholasrossis.com/. Thanks, also, to JL Morse for including me in the tour! The Writer’s Process Blog Tour requires that I answer 4 questions about my process and works. In today’s post, I’ll take a stab at those 4 questions in the hope of shedding some light on the rusty innards of my mind.
New writers invariably get around to asking me the same question: “What is the right chapter length?” So let’s dig into this in a little bit of detail and figure out the answer! Let me just preface everything I say in this article with “In the case of my style of writing…” That should drive the point home that I’m not trying to establish any “rules” I think people should follow. For me, chaptering is a tool that serves at least four different purposes, and sometimes each at the same time.
I know what you’re doing. You’re sitting there staring at your laptop screen. Your’re probably making this face: And you’re getting nowhere. If this is you, keep reading. There are three things you can do right now to fix your manuscript problems.
The journey from world building to prose is a long and twisted one. We know what a specific plaza in a specific city looks like. We have all of the elements: weather, sound, objects, people, etc. But unless we put them together in some kind of rational order and present them in a logical sequence, all we have are pieces of a jigsaw puzzle scattered on a table. We need to employ structured descriptions to allow the puzzle pieces to fall into place.
One of the best directors of the twentieth century, perhaps all time, had this to say: Alfred Hitchcock was accused of many things in his day, but being “dull” was never one of them. The little dull bits known as “stage directions” that are cluttering your work are driving readers away. Let’s see how to avoid them.
Small distractions that pull you away from writing for short periods of time may improve your productivity. I know. It’s counter intuitive. But it’s also true. Let’s see why.
“George, you can type this shit, but you sure as hell can’t say it.” – Harrison Ford to George Lucas. Harrison was saying that if George had taken the time to read Star Wars out loud, he would have discovered problems that reading it silently couldn’t reveal. I like his wording better, but let’s take a look at what we’ll find in our work if we take the time to use the spoken voice.
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