Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Do you have a Cheat Code for your Writing? (1 Viewer)

Riptide

WF Veterans
I thought I did. I thought that after I had written to 40k then I, no crap, would finish the novel. The story would write itself, basically. And for the most part, I thought that was true. Usually, I write to about 10k to 20k then drop the WIP so anything beyond that must be worth my time...

But I'm going through some of my work, pieces I wrote back in 2017 - 2018 and one is at 55k and the other at 40k. So, to not prove myself wrong, I will be finishing those in due time.

Anyway, do you have a point in your writing when you know you're going to finish the piece, or that it's one of the good ideas? If you do this then you're good to go?

Edit: Sort of like any superstitions you might hold about your writing
 
Last edited:

Riptide

WF Veterans
Nothing ever finishes itself. You have to be committed to getting it done. The only way to get to the end is to stop quitting.
Sweet, great idea. But, my question was more of those mental stepping stones that get you to that end. Like superstition on the baseball field type deal. If I get to 40k, I'll finish the story. if I'm wearing my favorite shirt with the car reading tarot cards, then I'll be able to write 7k in a day. If I drink one glass of wine with a hard boiled egg side dish every week, the book will be done in a month
 
I find the twelve character archetypes along with the 'hero's journey' plot outline are always useful for keeping my stories on track.
 

Fiender

Senior Member
I'm not sure if this is what you mean but...

I never sit down to "write a book", see? I sit down to write a specific scene or part of a scene. I wake up and while I shower and do my morning routine, I'm thinking about that scene, the things I like about it, how cool it is, and then I sit down and write it. And usually, this is enough to get me excited to write the next scene, and the next, and before I know it, I've written between 2k and 5k words.
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
About my umpteenth time to recount this:

I got stuck on my first novel because I ended a chapter in a way I had no good continuation from. Once I realized that, I rewrote the end of that chapter and kept going.

Once I finished, that taught me how to finish. It took one time for me. It might be different for others, but you MUST finish, and if that's not enough, FINISH again. The more you finish, the more confidence you have to finish. Now I KNOW when I type word one that word 100,000 will come. How you overcome stops in your plotting is another discussion, and there are threads about it in these Forums. But the simple answer is to go back to the earliest project, bear down, and FINISH it. Then take the next one, and FINISH it. At some point that process, you'll learn how to finish, and then it's never a concern again.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I plot instead of write by the seat of my pants, so my process will differ.
Usually the idea just shows up, and I let it sit between my ears for awhile - a month or so at the most, then if it still excites me, I'll kinda sketch it out in Excel with bullet points and characters. If it holds up there, I move the plot to Word - one page per chapter. If there isn't enough or it stops exciting me I drop it.
Once it passes that point it's bound to be a novel.
The initial word count for the novel that I aim at is 103-105 K, which will usually edit down to something below 100 K.
 

Tettsuo

WF Veterans
I thought I did. I thought that after I had written to 40k then I, no crap, would finish the novel.
Sounds like you were close to the halfway mark. Near the midpoint is usually where people stop. It's not just you.
Anyway, do you have a point in your writing when you know you're going to finish the piece, or that it's one of the good ideas? If you do this then you're good to go?

Edit: Sort of like any superstitions you might hold about your writing
As Indianroads has noted, having an outline helps tremendously.

Also, you have to be willing to write some crap, anything, just to get pass a stuck point. You can always edit the crap, but you can't edit a blank page.
 
Last edited:

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
Also, you have to be willing to write some crap, anything, just to get pass a stuck point. You can always edit the crap, but you can't edge a blank page.
I keep hearing this advice, and it's not bad advice ... I mean ... if someone wants to write it's good to use any device to continue the flow.

However, I think it's better to find ways to keep writing and write something good. Know what you're good at and go there. I just mentioned to PiP in a PM earlier this week that my "go to" is dialogue. I write pretty good dialogue, and if I'm wondering where the story should go next, I start writing dialogue. It's guaranteed, for me, to flow, and something always comes out of it to give me a direction for the next narrative scene. So I'd say find that individual strength and draw from it as often as necessary.

Another trick I used just this week was to describe how my character feels and their thought process. That led to a bit of action, and that led to some dialogue. I described his mood, what he was doing, his surroundings, then his thoughts, then what he physically did and how that changed his surroundings. It doesn't advance plot, but material like that is 80% of every novel, it has to be there to reach word goals, and there's no reason to NOT write it as well as you can. In the meantime, you're defining character and the character's environment, which is great.

A big thank you to PiP. She introduced a sister to my character for the entry to the Summertime collaborator challenge (which now isn't being submitted for the challenge, but is a chapter in the novel we're writing). Now that I'm writing for the collaborated novel, I've already got three nice dialogue scenes in between my main character and his sister. What a great springboard!
 
Top