August 15 through September 15, 2017
There are 32 writing days (including both fifteens) in our challenge. Have you chosen the time you want to write?
Have you set a goal for yourself?
My goal is 1000 words during that hour. I’ll probably write first thing in the morning, when the house (not including the hounds of the Baskervilles) is mostly quiet. After I’ve helped Mom but before the sun is really too high in the sky.
During the next 32 days (except for Sundays), Ann Dee, Kyra and I will leave you one writing hint or help each day.
So. My friend Trent Reedy (who is one of our teachers at WIFYR next year) organizes his office every time he finishes a novel. I’m not sure if that is from conception to sale and final revisions or what. But there is something cool about that.
My first hint for today is for you to check out your writing space. Do you have everything you’ll need for tomorrow’s start? Are there notecards? Have you already written character descriptions? Ideas of what might happen? Do you need your desk to look neat? The pillows fluffed on the sofa if you’re writing there? Is there a pen handy?
My second hint is to prepare a reward for each day. You decide what it is. Tomorrow I shall lunch with Cheri after the morning festivities. But I can’t do that every day (unless I win the PCH 15,000,000 dollars). The reward might just be writing the day’s word count (I like that kinda stuff!). But I’ll know by tomorrow what my reward will be.
My third hint is to keep a piece of paper, where you can see it, to log in your word count and how the writing day went. Watching those numbers grow will keep you motivated.
Okay, Everyone. Take a deep breath. Have a party, go to bed early, prepare however you must. We’re starting the writing challenge tomorrow!
If you were going to hide gold, where would you put it?
I have to admit, I love gold.
And our writing, when done well, is as shiny as gold.
That’s my goal: to write as well as possible.
Your writing prompt today is reading.
Read this great article, and maybe even buy the book.
I love William Zinsser. I’ve never read this book, but I know I would love what he says here, as I believe these ten hints are genius.
PS Check out the links below the article for more things to read before you write today.
If you could change one thing about your novel, what would it be?
If you could change one thing about you as a writer, what would it be?
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.