Saturday, August 16, 2014

Systems

Here's some really great writing advice courtesy of NYT bestselling author Alex Grecian:

Do not follow systems that tell you how to write a book. Just write a book. Write a book every day. Always write. That's the actual system.

It was good to see that as I was contemplating actually going ahead with a new novel. I really want to do it differently than the last two which I started on November 1 in 2011 and November 1, 2013, respectively. (The 2012 NaNoWriMo book is only about half baked. It is desperate need of a page one rewrite but that's neither here nor there for now. Suffice to say it's on my list to complete.)

Whisky, notes and music. I'm all set.
All writers have at least one shelf full of books on how to write, including a couple that promise to let you in on the 'secret' of writing. In my experience, the 'secret' in those books is that it was written well enough to sucker you into buying it with the hope that the particular system contained therein is one that will work for you.

Grecian's advice to "always write" is the real secret. The more you write the better you get. All it takes is practice, practice, practice. There's no easy way to write unless you discover it for yourself.

While it's true that some of the things in some of the books on my shelf of writing advice have helped me, I've adapted each of them to my specific needs of the moment. The same things do not work the same ways twice. The constant for me to this point has been NaNo. The support of my local group has been invaluable. It's possible that I'll still be writing this book as NaNo starts, in fact it's likely. But I don't know that I'll be an official participant this year. We'll see.

At this point, I have to get better as a writer and blasting out pure story without worry - which is the point of NaNo - means more work later on. Now I want to write with distinct purpose, editing as I go along, watching for the things that always trip me up when I start editing a completed NaNo book. I have a list of those things in the Scrivener file with the story so I have them close to hand if I want to check something or think I need a reminder. Dunno if it'll work or not, but I'm going to give it a try and see what happens.

I'm gonna use the actual system advocated by Grecian and write every day. No matter how long it takes to get to the end. (Which I know, by the way.)