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12

In college I had a writing professor who was a published novelist, mother, and had worked in web design while getting her Masters of Fine Arts and writing. She told a story of another novelist who did most of her "writing" while doing chores. This novelist had a great memory and would come up with the next stage of her plot while folding laundry, on walks, ...


11

I suffer from this all the time. My wife says I always write better to a deadline, but I struggle to figure out how to set deadlines and stick them. Some ideas I've been thinking about: Get someone you know to set a deadline for you, and behave as if you're writing for them. Find writing competitions on-line and write towards meeting that deadline. You may ...


10

When I'm on a roll writing, I always make sure I stop before the roll ends. In other words, if my "writing time" is almost up, and I have a great idea and I know what I want to say, I will often stop before I'm done, take a few notes on how I want to complete the idea, then stop for the day. While on one hand it may be stupid to ignore the flow, this ...


9

Do not put pressure on yourself by saying "Oh, I can write more at the weekend to compensate what I've missed during the week." You will throttle your motivation, you will strangle your creativity. You will get, what you fear most: writer's block. Should you write in the evening and risk to get not enough sleep? Well, why do you think they call it "Thirty ...


8

I find these sorts of formulas, well... formulaic. If I'm going to read about how to write, I want to read someone who HAS successfully written, a lot, and well. Someone like, say, Stephen King. And when I read his On Writing, I really don't see the craft being reduced to a math problem. I won't say that this sort of thing wouldn't help anybody, but I ...


7

This is about personal organisation - actually nothing to do with writing per se, but it does, I understand, affect writing significantly. I would suggest that you identify the urgency of your various projects, or - if you have no deadlines - the closeness to completion. Then work on the most urgent or nearest complete. Work on it until you have completed ...


6

I don't always plan ahead a lot in my writing, but I've taken to adding something at the end of my word document to let me know where I'm heading. It might be plot, it might be an emotion or a line of dialogue I don't want to forget but I'm not ready to include yet. One might call it an outline, but it's very rough. I don't always end up using everything ...


6

The priority of a writer is to get stuff written and in a shape where it can be read by others. (Assumedly, submitted, sold, to agents/editors, etc.) Your goal is to get stuff written. (Whether quality or timeliness is your primary goal is something you'll have to work out for yourself.) The advice below is fairly production-driven and deadline-oriented. ...


6

The way Nanowrimo is designed, you are supposed to write by the seat of your pants. The idea is you just write, without analysing or thinking much. You can create a short 1-2 page plot summary, but plotting the whole story and all the characters will take too much time. The reason for this is- most people fail at writing not because of poor plotting / ...


6

When I'm writing well, I don't think deliberately about MRUs. They end up in my writing anyway, but I don't think explicitly about needing a motivation or needing a reaction. But when I'm stuck, I find MRUs really useful. I map out a few plausible "motivations" and a few plausible reactions, maybe a few more subsequent motivations and reactions. After a few ...


6

Different schools have different methods (for example, some insist that the last line of the introduction must be the thesis statement), but I learned that a "conclusion" is essentially reiterating the essay. So they summarize each paragraph in one or two sentences, and that's the conclusion. From the old saw about speeches with introductions and ...


6

As a user of both programs, I would definitely say just put in a placeholder and let your designer import the images. Having them in the Scrivener text isn't going to help. You export them as Word or whatever, and then as a designer I'm going to strip out everything but the raw text so I can style and format it properly in InDesign. I'd much rather you put ...


5

Tell your friends, family, spouse that you will finish your novel in October, 15th (or whatever). Or tell it only your first draft readers. They will expect your work to be finished then. They will nag. You have a deadline.


5

I'm answering this as a technical writer but I don't have translation experience so can't address any aspects specific to that. Many of the habits that (I hope) you already have as a software developer apply equally to technical writing: Design first: figure out how you will structure the document to cover everything with a good flow (more on that in a ...


5

I agree with Kate--focus on one thing at once. Some people can juggle multiple projects; others, not so much. No shame in not being one, but it's far more productive to manipulate your tendencies to your own advantage. I have often referred to myself as a polyamorous writer because I always have more than one project--in my head, on my laptop, etc. But the ...


4

Is it actually necessary for you to be working on three things at once? Even if you have three works with the same deadline, if you find it hard to get in the groove working on them simultaneously, why not work on one for a period of time (maybe until you get stuck somewhere, but maybe not until it's actually complete), then put it away and work on ...


4

I've written manuals under a Scrum process, so I'll describe what worked for my team. I'm going to treat your task as if you're writing a new book. From your description, you'd be replacing the vast majority of the content anyway, so better to think of it as a new book (for which you might be able to take advantage of the occasional previously-written bit) ...


4

I found thinking about Scene/Sequel helpful in learning to avoid pointless scenes, both while revising and during outlining. If you want to read more about it, definitely check out the book he got it from, Dwight Swain's Techniques of the Selling Writer, and also Jack Bickham's Scene & Structure. It does seem formulaic, but that can be helpful when ...


4

The question is who you want to write for. I read one of the major daily newspapers of my country every day. The articles appear well researched (and are well written), and I feel I learn something reading them. But whenever an article deals with a topic in which I am an expert myself, I see many flaws: false information, central concepts not touched upon, ...


3

While I don't work in the TV industry, as I understand it, most shows have their own stable of writers and generally don't accept unsolicited manuscripts. (Some of the Star Trek shows did, but I gathered that was unusual.) At the very least, if you do want to write for a show which does accept outside manuscripts (and I don't know of any), you would need ...


3

Sounds like you shouldn't try to plan tho story since that tends to block you. I've won Nano twice. Both times I wrote by hand in whatever scrap of time I had--not typing it up until the month was over. (You'll want to type up a page or two to figure out how many words you write per page, though.) Don't worry about messy handwriting or misspelled words or ...


3

In programming, it is well known that context-switching is a productivity killer. Developers arrange their workdays to minimize interruptions so they can focus on one task. Once "flow" is interrupted, it can take a significant amount of time to get back into it. One 5-minute interruption can blow an entire afternoon. Human beings can't multitask. Study ...


3

The only advantage I can think of to including the images in the file you submit to the designer is so that the designer can then see exactly which picture you want placed where. It seems a lot easier to include the image than to say, "put the image with the blue cat right here" or "use image MVC3675 right here." Either way the designer will have to either ...


2

I found it very helpful to use an idea collection, which allows you to prioritize your projects without having the feeling that you miss some of them. It takes one great burden of your shoulders that often prevents that any project is realized: The need to do everything at once — because nothing can go lost when you collect it! It becomes not a question of ...


2

I hope this is helpful. It's something that I discovered during the process of writing my first book. Like you, I love the process of initial creation, and I did that for a while, just setting aside editing for content-generation. When it came time to prepare the book proposal (non-fiction), I had to go back and do some editing to get the sample writing ...


2

I think your problem is procrastination, given that revising is no fun (imho). Set a timer for 20 or 30 minutes. Promise yourself to work fully concentrated for those minutes. No e-mail, surfing or whatever you distraction poison is. When the minutes are over, take a break. Get a coffe, play a round of Starcraft, do something fun. After a while, start ...


2

I'm not a professional teacher, but here are two thoughts, based upon homeschooling my kids and working with other children for many years: 1) Children often develop a mental capability before the physical capability that it's usually paired with. For example, children being weaned can be taught simple ASL hand signs (for "please," "thank you," "more," and ...


2

In the concluding paragraph you should include the following: An allusion to the pattern used in the introductory paragraph. A restatement of the thesis statement, using some of the original language or language that "echoes" the original language. (The restatement, however, must not be a duplicate thesis statement.) A summary of the three main points from ...


1

@justkt - I think your writing professor had the right idea. I find that the mental work done when not writing is just as important as the work done in front of the computer. If you do a little mental prep before you sit down--thinking about where you left off and what you're going to write when you start, then you can maybe use your bits of writing time ...


1

This is a common problem. I myself conquered this only last year. There is no one reason and no two writers suffer from the same set of reasons in the same proportion. But here are some things to try out: Freewriting exercises - Whenever you feel like it, open up your note book or your word processor and just start writing. Start with any old nonsensical ...



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