View Full Version : What is the best approach?

05-03-2008, 11:54 AM
What's the best approach to writing that book?

05-03-2008, 01:58 PM
What's the best approach to writing that book?

START. No other way. Whatever other advice you may get, no matter how convoluted or arcane that advice may be, there's one terrifying moment of decision and commitment that you just can't escape -- the moment when you start.

JJ Cooper
05-03-2008, 02:29 PM
Not sure why you deleted most of the OP. I read it before the delete and it didn't seem like rambling. If I remember correctly, you were basically asking to outline or not to outline. It sounded like you knew where you wanted to go with the story, so just write.

If it's in your head - no need to outline.

My style goes against the norm here, but seems to be okay (watch this space). I think of the story, write a two or three para synopsis, then start. I also edit as I go. Write a chapter or two then go back to the start. Get to ten chapters and do a thorough edit; and send it out to Betas. Whilst waiting for a response I continue the process. When I receive feedback I stop writing, consider and make changes as necessary. Then keep writing.


05-03-2008, 03:11 PM
I start with the first page of the book, and 1 -2 pg overall synopsis. Then, if I think I have something, put together an outline. It depends what kind of book. What are you writing?

05-03-2008, 03:49 PM
I get an idea, start going, get more ideas that may or may not work so I add them to the list at the end of the WIP. They give me a direction in case I get stuck and remind me if I miss something that needs to be in so I can go back into a previous chapter and tweak to fit.

Ex: things to add or not according to how the story is going:

Circle of ice and fire -- borrowed from Ring Saga
death challenge on ice floe -- borrowed from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Dress & crown of poison -- borrowed from Medea
Isle of enchantment -- borrowed from Homer's Odysseus
Ship of the sun, chariot of the moon --from an Etruscan? myth

05-03-2008, 04:16 PM
Set yourself a goal of a certain number of words a day. Then write that number of words, every day. Hospital-level illness, death of immediate family, and your own death are the only excuses for not meeting your daily quota.

To get novel draft in a reasonable amount of time, 1000 words a day is a good daily quota. But if you don't have time for that, start at 500 words a day, or even 250. But meet your quota! It can be in actual novel draft or notes/outlines for the novel.

The only way to train yourself to write is to write. Think of it as boot camp, and do it for two months. You'll find out by the end of that time whether the rigors of literary service are for you.

05-03-2008, 09:00 PM
First turn off the internal editor. Then write the first sentence, and the second, and so on until you reach the end. Just make sure you set a daily goal and stick to it. It's way too easy to talk yourself into putting it off otherwise.

That's what works for me, anyways. Every other method, including outlines, seems to produce way too many opportunities to avoid actually working on the story.


05-03-2008, 09:08 PM
Allow yourself to write crap for the first draft.

05-03-2008, 09:21 PM
the thing about writing is that you want it to be perfect right when it comes out. It's not going to be.

Also, I tend to spend time thinking on a good opening, and then the rest falls in place. But, I know that that first draft is going to be pretty bad.

Matera the Mad
05-04-2008, 04:46 AM
Allow yourself to write crap for the first draft....and know that you are writing crap, and don't let it bother you, because you are learning something very important -- the difference between crap and not-crap (or not-so-crap), and you have to do that anyway. Besides, it's fun to write crap. :D