Feature Friday: Time to Commit

I can tell you all sorts of secrets for getting your book written. Once you have it written, I can give you all sorts of tips for getting it to market. However, until you’ve actually committed yourself to doing it, it’s not going to happen. “Well, of course I’m committed. I keep reading your lousy blog for advice, don’t I?” That just means you’re committed to learning how to do it. You haven’t committed to doing it. “Okay, semantic-laden Figment, how do I commit to doing it?” Set a deadline. I’ve heard all the excuses (really). Don’t bring me your excuses. I’ve used them myself and probably made them funnier (because, well, I’m funny). There are no excuses. You can work to a deadline, even if you’re a creative. You can write a full-length novel, even if you’re the busiest person ever. The only reasons you can’t finish a book by your self-imposed deadline are either that you were too ambitious or you quit. We don’t do quitters. You can modify your deadline if life happens or you can suck it up for a little while and pretend you don’t have a choice, but you don’t quit. Clear? Now, let’s…

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Mapping It Out
A to Z Blog Challenge / April 15, 2016

Do you map things out? I’m not referring to making a map like a Tolkien book (and please don’t get me started on how geologically impossible Tolkien’s maps are in the first place). I mean, do you map out your writing journey? First, do you map out your book? Of course not, you say. I’m a pantser. You can be a pantser (or at least a plantser) and still have a map. Depending on the genre and style you’re writing in, your book needs certain checkpoints. Some people manage to get them automatically, but I find having the little checkpoints means I don’t have to stop to think about it (which means I spend more time writing). For my current WIP, I’m using “The Hero’s Journey“. It’s can also be called the three-act character arc, although I see it as four acts. Here are the main checkpoints: The starting point/ real world/ normal world: introduce things as they currently are and always have been The inciting moment/ call to adventure: something happens that gives the protagonist a kick in the pants (but he’ll refuse the call) Major plot point/ personal test/ baddie #1: the protagonist gets another kick in the…

Publishing a NaNoWriMo Book: Making a Schedule
NaNoWriMo Prep / October 2, 2015

  SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY 6AM 6:30AM 7AM 7:30AM DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE 8AM WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK 8:30AM 9AM 9:30AM 10AM 10:30AM 11AM 11:30AM NOON 12:30PM 1PM 1:30PM 2PM 2:30PM 3PM 3:30PM 4PM 4:30PM 5PM 5:30PM DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE 6PM 6:30PM I’ve been told many of you have lives outside of Writing. Apparently these involve things like Work, Family, and School. I have none of these things, but I’m going to help you plan for November as if I do. First, the big secret to winning NaNo is to know what you have to do to win. If you have a job and a family, you know that you need to write fast and hard (even if you don’t write erotica). If you have lots of free time, you may need motivation. My trick would be to plot your life the way you plot a book.  (Pantsers, this even means you.) 1. Figure out your life Find or make yourself a calendar. November starts on a Sunday this year, which is very helpful. Make four weekly calendars (like above) and one with just two days. You have November. Now, fill in the…

Publishing a NaNoWriMo Book: How to Prepare for November
NaNoWriMo Prep / October 1, 2015

Last year I wrote a novel during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). No big deal; according to the site, 325,142 other Writers finished a book in 2014.  However, I wrote in November, edited in December, and published in January. Most of you aren’t Figments. I believe you have to type or handwrite your words, rather than have them appear on the screen when you think them. But if you’re writing a book with the intention of publishing, there’s some NaNo prep you might want to do now that October is officially here. 1) Solidify your idea Every pantser, gardener, and booper just cried out in pain. “We don’t plan! We run by the seat of our pants!” (Sounds painful, by the way.) If you’re writing just for fun, yes, pants away. (Please don’t take them off. That’s a verb, not a noun.) However, my studies show that the majority of traditionally published novelists plot to one degree or another. (My studies may or may not be other people’s studies that I’m using as an example.)  J.K. Rowling? Plotter.  Tolkein? Plotter. Even Stephen King, who treats plotting like adjectives, does at least get a good concept of his story ahead of…