Daily Writing Habit

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Another thing that I read a lot about when it comes to being a successful writer is developing a daily writing habit. This is nothing new. I’ve heard it and read it dozens of times. The most prolific and successful writers write every day. So, I’m trying to do the same. I recently got an iPad and a bluetooth keyboard so I can be a bit more mobile and I leave my laptop up all the time so if I can find 30 minutes, I’ll sit down and start writing. With writing sprints being a real thing now, 30 minutes is actually enough time to get something done in.

I wrote using my phone while we were in line at 6 Flags. I wrote on a trip to the Dodger game. I even woke up early and wrote on Easter. I’m getting there.

I did take yesterday off however. I didn’t really mean to. I was taking a little bit of a break in the morning because I was super tired and a bit worn out but by evening I was just kind of run down and couldn’t motivate myself to get any writing done. Plus, we started watching Santa Clarita Diet, which is a fantastic show and I highly recommend it.

My dog woke me up at 5:30 this morning to go outside and even though I laid back down my mind was already running with what I was going to write today so I got up, made coffee and started working. I’ve already edited 10,000 words and I’ve get plenty more in me. Happy Saturday everyone!

Focus

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I took a couple of days off and did a little vacationing with my wife. It was a great chance to reflect, think and plan where to go with regards to writing.

One of the problems I have is that too many projects going on at once and so all of them are progressing but none of them as quickly as they could. So I need to prioritize.

Since the goal is 3 books this year, I need to focus on editing Sureshot the Assassin which is already written and get it published in the next month or two. At that point I need to probably finish Sureshot 3 (the King) and look to get it published by December.

That means Goblins need to wait. It makes me a little sad only because I’ve been having such a good time writing it but focus is more important. I also decided to stop posting those chapters here because they’re first drafts and the story really needs more editing before they can be enjoyed fully.

So I will probably post a lot of Sureshot excerpts here as I work through editing Sureshot Rises and get it published ASAP. Let’s go!

 

The Story Grid

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This last year I read the “Story Grid” by Shawn Coyne and it was invaluable in a few ways. I highly recommend any writer or aspiring writer to read it as well. It absolutely helped me feel more secure in my writing and more than anything, make my story telling more efficient and more effective. Here’s how:

In “The Story Grid,” Coyne lays out the effective pattern that all stories need in order to impress and entertain the reader. He makes the case that every story, no matter the writer or the genre, has essential elements that must be present. Have you ever read a story and then told yourself it “just didn’t work?” I sure have. Coyne’s book helps to sort out those issues that keep a story from working. I felt like I sort of had those things sorted out but it was fantastic to read about those elements from an accomplished editor. Besides, the grid helped me identify one obvious problem that kept my own story, “The Sureshot,” from being great. Problem identified, fixed and now I’m less likely to commit the same mistake in future.

Coyne broke down all levels and elements of story telling and how to be a master of them. The information is invaluable. He uses several stories as examples to help the reader understand effective story telling with “Silence of the Lambs” as the anchoring story throughout. He even broke the book down by chapter and element with the speaker in each and even the times author, Thomas Harris, used italics. It was all amazing information.

Since reading “The Story Grid,” I revised and rewrote “The Sureshot,” learned to use the foolscap outline for more effective story writing and to tweak some other things I do to improve my writing. Again, if you want to be a writer, I highly recommend this book. Get serious and check out the story grid.

He also has a website with great information:

http://www.storygrid.com/