August 15 is now just a few days away.
Are you ready for our August challenge? (If you are wondering what we’re talking about, go to August 1, 2017 and see Ann Dee’s post.)
Here are some things to help you and your family get ready for your one hour a day.
- Decide on a time. You may want a trial run. Is 6 am better for you or 10 pm? Practicing will help you know what is best for you and your family.
- Make your place, for this one hour, sacred and private. Time for you and your words.
- Alert everyone for the next several days that you WILL be writing at this time and you’ll need this time, alone, to complete this challenge. IF you can write with children at your feet, more power to you. Just remember you are working toward 60 minutes of straight writing.
- If you are writing a book that needs lots of research, do that now. Perhaps, as you experiment with what hours are best, you can look up the price of chicken in 1929 (the same price as in 1969), which Apollo launch caught fire and killed the astronauts (Apollo 1), or how far Tampa is from New Smyrna (just over 2 hours down I-4). Get the pre-work done so you can follow Ann Dee’s rule of writing a solid one hour.
- Set a goal for how many words you’d like to write in that one hour. Anyone can sit in a chair and look at an blank computer screen and put down a word a minute. But you want to end up with a good number of words on the page. 500 words? 1000? 2000?
- Do some brainstorming now. What is your story about it 25 words or less? What does your main character want? How do you keep that from happening? What are five subplots for your book? What is the climax? How do you expect this book to end? Knowing little things (not all the important details but having ideas) will help you succeed.
- Jot your ideas down and post where you can see them.
- Tangerine oil is supposed to help your creativity. I’m thinking of purchasing some and putting it in the diffuser I bought months ago and have never used.
- Bring your snacks with you and don’t get up to go get more.
- Write scenes instead of writing chronologically.
So those are a few helps. We’ll have a few more before next Tuesday.
What if we also watched this movie as a final reward?
Also, I won’t go see this but I really want to because RYAN REYNOLD’S!!!!!!
(for those of you with sensitive ears [like me] don’t watch with the sound on as there are lots of swears. This is a rated R trailer. I listened to them for you. Mostly I just wanted to see Ryan Reynold’s face. It is cute.)
I’ve lost my phone.
This worries me as I have an appointment with two friends. What if I’m late?
I fought against getting this phone. But year before last when people were messaging all over Waterford trying to find me, and the last time my agent had to listen to Carolina’s weird answering machine, I realized it was time to get a phone of my own.
Where is that darn thing?
What has your main character lost?
How important is it to her?
Does this loss play a necessary part in your story?
Look through your novel. IF this loss is important, in needs to be present. It can’t be forgotten.
When Rick Walton was ill, he was always on my mind. Always. He’s still on my mind quite a lot.
Loss can be anything. Anyone. Keep it age-appropriate, and remember loss for a young child is as important as for an older person, even if the object isn’t as huge as a lost cell phone. 😉
Sometimes we have characters in our novels that just aren’t doing anything to move the plot along.
Perhaps we like this character and so we mold and shape him. We give him the correct lines, witty banter. We even make him wowzers handsome.
Here’s the truth of it.
That guy’s gotta go.
If he ain’t pulling his weight, no matter how dynamic he is, you gotta get rid of him.
Look at the earlier writing prompt where you drew a circle, with your main character in the middle. All those lines lead to characters in the novel. Are they all important? Can you do without a few? Are there any people not doing their duty?
Every person who shows up in a book must DO something. No talking heads. No mannequins (unless you are Richard Peck writing SECRETS OF THE SHOPPING MALL. Mannequins WERE used in that story.)
So, get rid of all those who are weighing down the story.
And if they are super cool? Use them in another book.
Write three memories from your main character.
One that concerns a confrontation,
one that has the MC meeting someone who is/was significant,
one that makes the MC question some belief.
In free verse, and taking no more than 1000 words, rewrite your novel.
Remember forward movement, characters, and use words with power. Find out what’s most important in your novel and put it in this Spark’s Notes Version.
If you need, take a few days to do this writing.
Then ask yourself, Can I do without certain things that I’ve added? Does everything I write move the story forward? Are there unnecessary characters? Does my character burn time? What can I do without? Do I go off on unnecessary trips with my character? Is my writing too flowery? What words that carry no weight can I throw out?
Really knowing your story can help you write the best novel.
You spend 24 hours with your main character.
What do you do?
What do you talk about?
What do you notice as quirks?
How does she make you cry?
What stories about her past does she tell you?
You go shopping. What does she buy?
What does she eat?
Can she cook?
Name three nice things she does for you.
What does she want you to do for her?
What does she read?
How does she surprise you?
How does she sleep? On her back? Curled up? Does she toss and turn? Snore? Talk in her sleep?
Does she want breakfast?
At the end of the day together, does she thank you for telling her story or curse you?