Foreplay

Yesterday I discovered our friend Tamara is back to her blog. Sort of. Anyway, her latest post led me to an article by Rachel Aaron which describes how Rachel went from writing 2,000 words per day to 10,000.

Let me begin by saying that I have never and probably will never write 10,000 words per day. I’m not wired for it. But the article was nevertheless filled with excellent practical advice that I’m going to take. One of the juicier bits was something I heard from August one day when I got stuck (and if you don’t know by now that August is my own personal God of Writing, you haven’t been following along). His advice was this: when the words won’t come, write plot instead: Lexi does this, then this, then Jack says that, and the two of them do you-know-what. And I did take his advice and it did work, but I only followed it when I was desperate. What Rachel says is, do some planning before every session. Don’t waste your precious writing time figuring out what to write; walk step-by-step through each scene and make notes ahead of time, so that when you actually sit down with your pages, you won’t find yourself staring at the wall trying to figure out what comes next.

*headdesk, Sarah!*

I know we’re all sick of writing advice so I’m not going to beat this into the ground, but I’m planning to spend today laying out my scenes for the weekend and I’m going to make a concerted effort to finish the fucker. I’m about halfway through my rewrite and I’ve got many of the remaining pieces already in place, so a solid weekend or two of intensive writing should put me through my second draft and in good shape for the final polish.

At the very least, I’ll have plenty of fuel for the bonfire.

Does anyone really follow writing advice? Do you nod and smile and discard it, or do you try to incorporate another’s methods into your madness?

Photograph by Ellen Von Unwerth

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