dialogue, Dirty Draft, NaNoWriMo, Pomodoro Technique, Writing your Book

Writing Your Book, Part Five—Getting Down And Dirty…

One of my three top tips in Part One of Writing Your Book is to create a “dirty” draft. This involves dashing off the first version of your book as fast as you can. 

If your writing time is limited, concentrate your creative energy on getting words down, rather than building images in your readers’ minds. The fun of doing that comes later, when you refine and polish your completed story.

Adapt the Pomodoro technique to help you squeeze every second out of your writing time. That is, set a kitchen timer for thirty minutes, write as fast as you can until the alarm goes off, then take a ten-minute break.

Don’t worry about adding details of your characters’ appearance, or your story’s setting at this stage. You’ll be going back over your work to add this later, along with research details, and spelling, grammar and punctuation checks. 

Getting your thoughts down in words in a high speed stream has some great advantages. You see real progress, fast. There’s nothing like a rapidly growing word count to feed your enthusiasm. Making a note of your daily word count is a real incentive to beat that figure the next time you sit down to write. If you’re taking part in NaNoWriMo, feeding that figure into the community makes you part of the successful process.
“Let me have this one night with you, to remember…”
or http://bit.ly/2euCc60 (US)

The feeling of satisfaction is amazing. When you forge ahead, trying to do as much as you can in the shortest possible time, you carve straight through those nasty briar patches marked doubt and delay threatening to block the path of every writer. Think of an icebreaker ploughing through the Southern Ocean. Keep your head down, and keep going.

You’re never lost for words. It’s impossible to edit a blank page, but once you get something down in black and white, you can go back and develop your work by adding colour, detail and shades of meaning. Conflict drives the best stories, and its most reliable power source is dialogue between great characters. Put their emotions and arguments down into conversation. You can worry about the scenery later. 

The line of dialogue; …let me have this one night with you, to remember… popped into my head as I woke up one morning. I built the story of Heart Of A Hostage around it by imagining how that conversation started, and how it would end. By writing that out as fast as I could, I made a commitment to write the book which has become one of my favourites. 
cooling, Dirty Draft, His Majesty's Secret Passion, off time

Birth Of A Book, Part Five—Getting Down And Dirty…

By Antonio Litterio

…it’s time to get creative. If you’ve been following the first four parts of this series, you’ll have a stash of ideas, and you’ll know the importance of detailed characters, and a strong basic structure. To catch up on any of the parts you may have missed, here are the links: From Thinking To WritingFinding The Heart And Soul Of Your BookFind Your Writing Style and The Basic Three Act Structure For Creative Writing.

All (!) you have to do now is put the advice into action, so sit down and write. Nobody can put those words together for you, and that’s the beauty of it. Your work is as individual as you are. The problem is, those words and ideas are no use to you, or anyone else, while they’re inside your head. To get them noticed, put them down on paper, or up on screen.

I’m a great believer in the dirty draft. Once you’ve worked out the who, what, when, where and why of your major characters, live with them for a while. Don’t start writing until they stop being characters, and become real people for you. Then imagine you’ve opened a vein—let the words flow fast. The important thing at this stage is to get something down. Editing your written work is about a million times easier than staring at a blank screen (and ten million times more productive), so start and don’t stop when you run out of words. Stop when you still feel you could write all night. Then your story will be so desperate to be told, it’ll keep your imagination on high alert until your next writing session.

Find out more here http://bit.ly/1ujX5zc
 here for UK- http://amzn.to/1DF99Dv

Once you’ve typed The End, you reach the hardest part of being a writer (since the last hardest part, and until you come to the next hardest part). That’s when you put your work away for a while. It must be out of sight, and out of mind. If it’s on a computer, save it to a flash drive, and email it to yourself as well, as insurance. Then go and do something completely different from writing. Hike a long distance path. Join a gym. Go on holiday. Do anything but touch your finished dirty draft. This break gives you and your work a chance to mellow after the ferocity of the writing process. A cooling off period puts your work, like a teenage affair, into perspective. Leave it for at least a week, but preferably much longer. If you use the time to plan, and begin writing, your next book the time will go much faster. A head start on your follow-up project is important if you want to make wiring your career.

You’ll be glad to know writers and their drafts have a much better chance of long-term success than playground partnerships. You can alter and improve your first love in written form to your heart’s content—you can’t do that with real people!

Next time, I’ll be talking about the process of reviewing and editing your work. Do you revise and edit as you go, or do you use the dirty draft method outlined above? There’s a signed copy of my current release, His Majesty’s Secret Passion, for a comment drawn at random after 9th March.

Creative Writing, dialogue, Dirty Draft, inspiration

Three Top Tips For Moving Your Writing On…

By Antonio Litterio

1. DRIVE THAT DRY: When you’ve had a run of successful writing sessions,  it comes as a shock when you hit a dry patch.  Don’t panic.  The act of writing is like holding handfuls of sand: the harder you try, the more effort you put in, the closer to impossible it gets.  The first blank sheet, or coming back after a break, is always tough. Forget what you planned to write. Instead, plunge straight in to writing your most exciting scene. It doesn’t matter if it’s out of context, just get something down on paper. This works on the sink or swim principle. It may just take a prod to make the words start flowing again. If that doesn’t work, there’s a point when sitting and suffering is pointless. Visit your own particular well of inspiration, even if it’s only snatching a nap or taking a walk. Chill out. Stop and smell the flowers. Sometimes you achieve more by trying less. 

2. PLAY FAST AND DIRTY:    When you’re first grabbed by an idea, don’t get bogged down in detail. As long as you’ve done the groundwork on your characters and conflicts, try this. Charge straight through your story, writing only the dialogue. Scribble away as fast as you can, getting down on paper or screen all the juiciest exchanges. Start the beginning, and work right through to the end. You’re not looking to write the whole novel at this stage. You’ll probably change a million things about it before you’re satisfied with your final draft, but that’s in the future. What you want at this stage is a big boost to your self-esteem. The explosion of your idea into visible words will power you on to the finish.

3. FINE TUNE THE FUTURE: Your first, “dirty” draft captures all the interpersonal, edge of the seat stuff – the interplay of character and conflicts that first got your idea up and running. If you’ve invested in plenty of thinking time and done your research, your second draft should be pure pleasure. Go back over your work word by word, and line by line. Use your character sketches to make sure everyone is doing and saying the things they should – or at least, in the way they should. Season your writing with a dash description, and a lot of character development. Let your fictional people drive their story on.  Crank up the conflict. Make them laugh and cry, and you’ll make your completed story a guaranteed page turner. 

For more writing tips, visit my website by clicking here. You can sign up for my occasional newsletter by mailing me at christinahollis@hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk, putting “NEWSLETTER” in the subject line.