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21

Having more details than you need, is not a bad thing per se. Many writers do that, and it often leads to an authentic world, even if the reader isn't aware of all these details. It is especially helpful, if you plan a long series of books for the same world. But you are describing procrastination. You do not want to start, so you do other things, which ...


17

I rely on two tactics to achieve steady progress in writing (I'll answer twice for voting ease). The first is sort of obvious - write every day. I fell into a trap at one time where I felt that if I couldn't block off at least a few hours for writing that it was better to not bother. As a result, I would sometimes go for weeks without writing (that doesn't ...


16

Reading is probably the best way, but there are a few others that have worked for me. One way is to keep a dictionary handy. From time to time, pick a random word, learn how to pronounce it, and write it in a sentence or two. You can use a thesaurus in a similar manner. When you find words you like, add them to a journal (print or text). Refer to the ...


15

Write. Let the emotion flow. If the emotion clutters the writing, or takes it in a direction you don't want, you can fix it later, when you can look at it with a cooler view. But even if you choose not to keep the stuff written in the heat of emotion, save it somewhere. There's energy in there for you. It may be useful on another project.


15

It varies a lot - and by type of writing. I can do casual non-fiction writing fairly quickly, but more structured or formal work takes me longer (not just in the editing, but in the actual writing process). The professional writers I know point out that burning out is a bad thing (as above: 1000 words each day - or even 250 words a day - is a lot better ...


14

Quite simply: Block off the Internet as you write. For me, that involves turning off my secondary monitor so I can't see the taskbar. For you, it might involve physically unplugging the ethernet cable from the back of your computer. I can't even begin to describe the difference this makes for me when I write.


11

Whenever you encounter a word you do not know, write it down (in that little notebook that you of course always keep on you, as all good writers should). When you get home, look it up. It could also be useful to write down who said/wrote it, and in what context. Then you will not only learn a new word, but you will also have a setting in which it is used, ...


10

The second thing that has helped me is the 10x5x2 approach (it may have another name). The theory is that you write for 10 minutes, take 2 mintues off, then repeat 5 times (filling an hour). The idea is that the schedule will make you focus, but give you time to deal with necessary distractions if necessary - often I use the two minutes to stare at the ...


9

An apocryphal story about Joyce A friend once found him sprawled across his desk, a figure of utter despair. "How many words have you written today?" he asked him. "Seven," the great man answered. "But that’s good for you, isn’t it?" "I suppose so," Joyce answered. "It’s just that I don’t know what order they go in." Copied from here I think ...


9

If you write a book (or whatever) you have to rewrite it several times. Your first draft is shit! Period! There are some jewels buried in this shit and you need a shovel to dig through to them. It is a good idea, to wait some time after you "finished" a project before revisiting it again. Then you have a clear mind and some distance. You need that to ...


9

Reuse the worlds! Force yourself to write novels within the worlds you have created until the number of background pages is eclipsed by the number of story pages. Surely that much detail will give you more than one story. Let the stories be unrelated, you don't have to write a series, just stay on the same planet/in the same universe. This has the ...


9

If you're still getting novels written, and don't have a pressing need to write them faster, I'd just go with what you're doing. Make the world real to you, and it'll show up in the story. Have maps (just don't be afraid to mess with them as needed) and backstory. One of the things that stands out in Tolkien's work is the feel that Middle-Earth is a real ...


9

Let me get this straight. Your "schedule" is: Coming home Cuddling dog Write 600 words Give in Surfing for hours You want more time for reading? Cut your internet connection! I mean it. You also get more time for writing. When you sit down for writing, unplug your internet connection. Make it a big hassle for yourself plugging it in again. Like hiding ...


8

1) So, don't. Keep several books going at once. What's stopping you? Maybe you need to switch gears often to keep yourself fresh. 2) Write short stories. Easier to finish in a bite. 3) Write an outline of your novel. When you get bored working on IIA3d, move to IVE12c. Jump around within the book and write scenes.


8

Speaking from personal experience, probably the best way to improve your vocabulary is by studying a foreign language, as many languages borrow vocabulary from each other. One of the most difficult tasks when trying to find that "perfect word" is knowing where to start looking, and knowing (for example) Latin, French, or German synonyms can help when ...


7

This is one of those things where there are no easy answers but there's always advice you can use as a guideline. For me, if a story isn't working, or I'm finding myself dreading working on it every time I sit down, I'll but it aside for a bit. That can be as short as a week or so (sometimes writing something else can help clear the cobwebs) but sometimes ...


7

You mentioned that you have felt most like writing when you were in a library surrounded by books. So go to the library to write! I know a couple of folks who do just that, and they have been extremely productive. They also are inspired by being surrounded by books, and they find that it is much easier to get a lot done without any distractions, which is ...


7

The short version: To write at length turn off your inner editor. The long version: Why the problem writing long form? Writing at length is a completely different kettle of fish from writing shorts. I am absolutely hopeless in short form. However to become adept at either type of writing takes commitment and effort. I always had the point of view that a ...


6

It depends. Personally, I aim for one to two thousand words a day. I know of one professional writer who goes for three thousand words a day (but, as she pointed out to me, this is her day job).


6

Your problem is not making time for reading. You have two other problems: You're giving up too quickly on writing. You surf too much. First, as John Smithers wisely says, disconnect your internet connection. The web will still be here when you come back, I promise. Second, you say "I'm never more inspired to write than when I read." So: pick a book ...


6

Well, the simple answer is yes, if your story needs it you should switch POV as often as needed. Naturally of course it's more complicated then that. The point of view is are windows into the story, we see it through those eyes and learn all that happens via it. If the story is small, where one character can see and interact with most events, it makes sense ...


6

Have you ever read Trainspotting? That, IMO, is an example of tons of perspective changes executed perfectly. Really though it depends on the kind of story you're trying to tell, because lots of perspective changes definitely changes the tone. A more nonlinear story favors perspective changes, for example. Also, don't assume you're going to be losing ...


5

I have the same problem. What I did to handle it was to start writing down an outline or synopsis of the new story ideas as they came to me. This allowed me to get them out of my head and store them off somewhere for a while. I usually have at least two, and usually three, projects going at any given time. Once I finish one, I will go back to my story pile ...


5

Well, here are my own suggestions - I hope they're helpful :) Keep a timeline for every character (or small group). Keep track not only of what's going on onstage, but also what's hidden from the reader - if the hero thinks his wife is dead, but actually she's studying with Tibetan monks and engineering a playful assassination attempt for every anniversary ...


5

Pay attention to the origins of your words. English is a confirmed pack-rat language--an enthusiastic, perhaps obsessive, collector and creator of new words. Take, for example, the word "large." Unsatisfied with just the one comparative, English has a whole platoon of others in reserve: immense, vast, capacious, bulky, massive, whopping, humongous. Like ...


5

In addition to the reading or using a dictionary or thesaurus, you can also look at various Words of the Day. Depending on what you are reading, these may expose you words you may otherwise not encounter. A quick Google Search for 'word of the day' showed sites like Dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster, WordThink, NY Times, The Quotations Page, and ...


5

This may be an extremely subjective answer, but i find it easiest to get a chapter or two done, rather than a word count. It means there is a complete section to get a family member to read over, and if there is spare time in my sitting, i can go through and edit it. If you don't finish the chapter, just try finishing it (and the next chapter) the next day! ...


5

Blocking out distractions is the key to doing anything productive. In the case of writing you need to put yourself in a situation where all you can do is write. There are two methods I like to employ, one digital and the other analogue. On my computer I use an application called PyRoom which places a black fullscreen interface over my entire monitor with ...


4

My most available writing time is between "waking up" and "leaving for work", that usually gives me between 30 and 60 minutes each day, usually good for 300-400 words (and a quick read of the last two days worth of writing). However, I suspect that is not a scalable method.


4

I've moved to mostly e-reading on the Kindle and Nook apps on my iPhone/iPad. My wife uses her Android, and even my son has an old iTouch he uses. All of us have learned to use the built in dictionary, so as soon as you're not sure of a word's meaning, you click it, get the definition, and learn something. The more I do this, the more I find that I can ...



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