Monday, May 13, 2013

on writing - 5 do-nots

Five Things Not To Do When Writing a Book by Brian Klems

1. Do Not Tell Anyone The Plot of Your Book
When you’re writing a book, occasionally someone — like a
family member, friend or that loaded guy sitting next to you at the
bar — will con you into talking about your book while you’re
writing it. Wrong move. They will offer unsolicited pieces of
advice.  Best to stay hush-hush about it until it’s finished and you
can have it edited or work-shopped by other writers.

2. Do Not Get Attached to Any Part of Your Book
As writers, we often fall in love with our own writing and plot
points. This happens to me all the time. I write an awesome first
paragraph and continue writing a chapter. As I go along, it’s clear
that the chapter has taken a decidedly different turn and that first
paragraph doesn’t quite fit. But I love that first paragraph. So I
spend countless hours rewriting the rest of the chapter, even
though deep down I know the only real solution is to cut that first
paragraph.  It’s brutally painful, but not cutting it is a mistake
rookie writers make.

3. Do Not Set Unreasonable Goals
I believe in goals, so no matter what you are writing — a novel,
nonfiction book, memoir, poetry chapbook, an article on how to
write a blog (which I did) — you need to set some. That being
said, don’t set goals that are nearly impossible to reach.
Unreasonable goals will only cause you to get mad at yourself.

I like to set time goals as opposed to word-count goals. For
example, if you only have 30 minutes a day to write, just sit down
and write as many words as you can in that 30 minutes. Some
days you may only walk away with a couple hundred. Others you
may knock out a thousand or two.

4. Do Not Only Save Your Book in One Place
Use Google Docs.  Or Pages.  Dropbox, etc.

5. Do Not Take the Fun Out of Writing
Too often writing a book turns into a chore. That can happen for
many reasons — stressed over a self-imposed deadline, trouble
defining a character, dealing with writer’s block, afraid that the
book just isn’t good enough so far, etc.

The important thing to do is forget all of that — all the worries
and stresses and self-induced headaches. Just focus on the
reason you wanted to write a book in the first place: Because
you’re a storyteller and you have a story to tell. Remind
yourself of that every day and you’ll have fewer roadblocks to
finishing your book.  (Source)

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