Saturday, January 15, 2011

Yes But What Have You Written Lately?

Even though nobody has ever asked me that question before, I live my Writing life in constant fear of not having an answer to it. I'm not sure why, but I've decided not to question it because it keeps me productive even when I don't want to be.

For the past couple days, ever since I wrote up how I could write 42 hours a week, I've been scientifically testing what exactly goes into creating the strange spurts of productivity that I so enjoy. I'm subtitling it "How David Can Write One Story In One Day" because that seemed a bit too pretentious for a post title. The preliminary results follow. I reserve that awesome post title for the final results after I manage to do this for a while.

Carry around a notepad and write down absolutely anything that comes to mind: title, dialogue, paragraph, character description, setting. Transfer it into a document (I label mine "Soup") you can search. From Soup, ladle out a list of possible titles and attach images/blurbs. Special bonus if the image and blurb are for an Opening Scene. Second best: A really good ending.

Select one of the titles before you go to sleep.

As soon as you wake up, get at least 1000 words into the story so you know what the characters are and have a structure of the plot.

Get out of bed, drink some coffee, bathe, buy food., do stuff, then cook lunch.

While you're waiting for lunch to be ready Bracket Outline the remaining scenes of the story, e.g. [Timmy Does Something]. You're allowed to change it later, but know what the Middle and the End is and how to get there.

Bulk out the bracket outline (catchy quotes, descriptions, transitions) as you eat lunch. You can do some quick research/random page'ing on wikipedia/tvtropes if you like, if you're eating anyways and thus not able to type at optimum speeds. When you've finished eating (you have an hour or so)...

UNPLUG THE INTERNET (Do not skip this step)

Sit down and write at least 1000 words or 1.5 scenes, whichever is longer, in the order in which they will appear in the story. If you must pause, know the next sentence you're going to write down.

If you really must, you can then take a bathroom break and tweet about it. Then unplug the internet again and sit down and finish the damn story.

Transfer the plain text into a word processor, read it through once (don't change anything!) and run a spell check, then:
(for submissions)
Manuscript it up pretty, check your Churn spreadsheet to find an appropriate market and submit it ASAP. Continue submitting as necessary until appropriate market list is exhausted.
(for epublishing)
make some cover art, format it up all pretty (.doc and .html) and put it up online, whether immediately or on the next scheduled Business Side Friday.

Tweet about your success, for tracking purposes. It's not bragging if you actually accomplished something.

Goal: 5 stories a week.
Can I do this regularly? Not yet. Is it possible? Yes.


I have a few questions about this picture.

They all lead to certain madness.

3000 words? Yes
Short Story "The Ambassador's Lady" - not...quite...finished (kinda undercuts the post don't it?)
- - - -
Reading - ScienceSeeker


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