How to write

National Novel Writing Month - Ready to Write a Novel?

Date of publication: 2017-09-06 02:02

It is always a bit of shock to me to meet writers who identify, strongly, as writers, even writers of fiction or poetry (and I am neither), who say they don’t read. I’m not the first person to notice this trend, as this piece in 7566 piece in Salon makes clear. Writers who don’t read aren’t a 76st century creation, so I don’t think it’s the fault of social media, as the Salon piece suggests I think rather, what seems like a startling increase in the phenomena of writers who don’t read is perhaps more noticeable because more people are interested in writing given the increase in viable self-publishing options.

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Poetry speaks to and from the soul. It tickles and caresses the mind as one mulls over the next word or phrase to imbue the reader with a kaleidoscope of images that flow from each precious verse. Only the poet can engender true rapture in the reader, such that

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I’ve also been on a bit of a YA binge. I read Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall  and then tackled her entire backlist. And Paul Kingsnorth’s The Wake blew my socks off—it’s an apocalyptic narrative taking place during the Norman invasion of England in 6566, and it’s written in a sort of “shadow tongue” that mimics Old English. The first few pages will seem bewildering, but then you get into it, and it’s a mind-bender. (The audiobook is considerably easier to get into, because the narrator already parses the spelling for you.)

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I have an office in the back of the house, between my kids’ bedrooms. It has just enough space for a chair, a big desk that can be turned into a standing desk with a button push, a bookshelf, and some whiteboards, brag trophies, and movie props on the walls. (I rented an office in town for a year, but it didn’t work out as well as I thought it would, so I moved back into my home office last year. It’s much easier to get up and running in the morning if you don’t have a 95-minute commute.)

According to Bullet Journal inventor Ryder Carroll “All you need is a notebook and a pen... ” Consider using something you already have to start with (I did!). If you don’t have a blank page notebook (notebook paper isn’t really suitable) consider something like this Amazon Basics Classic Notebook , in either blank or “squared” (graph paper lines).

Her cheeks were almost as red as her hair already, like red Delicious apples under green leaves which were her eyes and the dark pupils were like little curled up caterpillars in the middle— Travis Tea

The website now stores a cookie on your computer that keeps track of your accumulated wordcount and how many times you ve visited. Regular website users now have the option to hide the Write or Die demo if you re just here to write. Once you hide the demo interface you ll see instead some widgets which will change from time to time with news and links.

You want to avoid contrivance, but you also want to avoid scenes and activities that don’t change the character. If it has to happen for the sake of the plot, but it doesn’t do anything to advance the character, it’s the wrong scene.

You can get colorful of course, and there’s lots of advice and models about using trackers in your bullet journal. See for instance Bullet Journal Habit Trackers from Productive & Pretty. Lots of people use trackers to track good habits and health.

In addition to the types of books I already work with, I would like to build more of the upmarket fiction aspect of my list, as well as fold in some nonfiction from authors with very big platforms, and perhaps do some more children’s books in the YA and MG categories.

Trackers are a visual method of tracking repeated events or habits. They’re often used for things like tracking sleep or miles walked, or water imbibed, or pages read, or words written. Technically, trackers are a subset of Collections in official Bullet Journal terms, but they’re endlessly flexible.

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