I got an email from my publisher this weekend. My 3rd book, Fighting Mad, is ready for final review before going live in December!
It’s very exciting, but even as I went through the manuscript again (and enjoyed it thoroughly!), even as I’m tweaking ad copy and requests for reviews, I’ve started working on my next book. Actually, I started on it as soon as I submitted Fighting Mad in September.
I’m not a good candidate for NaNoWriMo. In fact, I had to scale back my NaNoWriMo plans at work as we just have too much going on. But I agree wholeheartedly with the idea of pushing to write. Just get started and keep going is the only way I’ve found to get a book finished AND to build your career.
Here are my tips on how to keep that momentum going –
You need some sort of plan. Writing in the zone or as ideas occur is fine, but you need some sort of structure so you know where you left off if you get interrupted. This also helps you keep moving forward if you get stuck and creativity doesn’t strike.
Your plan can be whatever you want. I hear Scrivener’s nice, I use Excel, and I know one lady who decorates her walls with sticky notes.
Write down everything. I don’t know who said it, but I heard once that if you write out all the bad, then you’ll get to the good stuff. I find that once I get the basic scene laid out, I can make the necessary changes.
If you have trouble letting go of something, save it in another file. Then you can tell yourself all your hard work still counts and you might use it someday. Some of my discards from Feeling Lucky ended up in Fighting Mad.
Stay curious! If you find you’re getting stalled, ask yourself what could happen? What if the characters did the opposite of what you first thought? What if another character did something contrary? Trying something different helps you keep your story fresh AND gives you more opportunity to explore your characters!
So whatever you’re working, keep at it! I’m looking forward to reading great stories!