Tip #2: Plan it like you eat it.
So. Here you are.
You’ve written your synopsis.
“Now what?” you ask.
Now…well…now you write.
“Woah!” you say. “Hold up! That’s not how writing works! You can’t just start writing to write!”
And my response to you, fellow writer, would be, “Why ever not?”
You see, we’re at tip #2, which if you recall from when you just read it up there, is “Plan it like you eat it.”
And how do you eat?
One bite at a time.
So how do you write?
One word at a time.
And you enjoy each bite. So enjoy each sentence.
Don’t stress over the future words. Don’t stress over the present words. Don’t stress over the past words. (Why would you think about that previous bite of hamburger while you’re enjoying your French fries?)
Editing was invented for a reason. Take advantage of it. The only thing you need to think about right now is getting those words down. And it doesn’t have to be good. Sure, you can polish as you go if you would like, but don’t let everything depend on your words and sentences being perfect as you write them.
Because we all have those sentences we just can’t get right. Think of those as the vegetables on your plate that aren’t your favorite. It might not seem so great now, but they will serve you in due time.
I know you. You’re a writer. You’ll keep polishing those annoying sentences. And polishing them. And polishing them until you eventually get it just the way that you want it.
It’s kind of like Thomas Edison: You didn’t fail. You just discovered 10,000 ways not to write it.
Polish makes perfect, am I right?
The more you polish, the more chances you have at getting it to pierce the reader with what you’re trying to say. The more you experiment with wording, the more you’ll discover who you are as a writer.
Because we want to read you and what you have to say. That’s why we picked up your book. (Congrats on your future publication by the way 🥳)
And while you’re in this stage of messy writing, experiment. Try different subplots. Throw in random characters just for fun. Who knows where these things will lead you?
This past NaNoWriMo, I wrote differently than how I normally do. Normally, I polish as I go, making a pretty good-ish story. But I was so busy last November that I was cramming in my words and not polishing.
Oh boy. My story (still incomplete, though I did make it to 50,000 words!) is…a mess.
But I’m okay with that. Because it’s so messy, I’m cool to rewrite whole parts. Delete stuff I thought of that now doesn’t fit. Add in extra things where it’s needed.
It doesn’t feel like I’m “killing my darlings” as the saying goes, because they aren’t my darlings. It’s more like junk you find under your bed that makes you go, “What is that?”
*tosses hypothetical junk into trash can*
On the other hand, knowing that I wrote junk doesn’t depress me because I know that I can write better than junk. In fact, I’m looking forward to editing, because I think the story idea is really good and I can’t wait to make the words as good as I can.
And sure! Some things you do need to figure out before you start writing. Or at least, sort of figure out. But you can always name your character Bob and then come back with a new name later on. And that special magic thing you don’t have a name for yet? Call it “magic” for now (really creative, I know).
So. Take a seat. (Find somewhere comfy.)
Open your laptop, your notebook, your iPad…whatever. I’m not picky. Make sure you have a water bottle with you. Listen to music if you want. (Rain sounds are brilliant, too.)
Take a breath.
*clickety clackity* <– the sound of you writing your best seller