Getting things done

Starting a new book is a daunting task, but a necessary one. Threats of Sky and Sea has only copy edits to go through, and its accompanying short story is drafted as well (more on that later). But it’s the first in a series. I may be uncertain as to the length of said series, but I know this much: there’s at least a book 2.

And I’d love to release it at the end of this year– or, at the latest, early next year. So that means I’ve got to write it.

Here are some of my favorite, not-so-revolutionary ways to get that done.

1) The notes app on my iPhone.

Occasionally, I find myself inspired about a particular scene, have a random snippet of dialogue run through my head, or have an epiphany regarding a plot twist. Every now and then, this happens when I’m computer-less. Enter Notes to save the day. My most memorable moment of utilizing the Notes app was when I was waiting for my exercise class to start and was pedaling away on a stationary bike… and pecking furiously at my phone’s screen when I had a sudden scene breakthrough.

2) A very loose outline

I mentioned the fairy tale plotting structure in my post last week, but I’m actually trying it out for book 2. It’s just loose enough that it gives me some structure, without making me feel boxed in.

3) Write or Die

Drafting is NOT my favorite thing to do. For me, loving the book starts in revisions, when I untangle and cut various plot threads. When I can add in descriptions and characterizations and weave in backstory and foreshadowing and– okay, the point here was not to write an ode to revising. Where was I?

Ah, yes. The point is, my drafts are a mess and a half because I prefer to do a fast draft and get it over with so I can get to revising. Perhaps my favorite tool for fast drafting? Writeordie.com (or, an installed version of the program).

The premise is simple: Don’t stop writing. Or you’ll be subjected to torture. In the old version, it was only a terrible sound. Now, you’ll also be visually assaulted with images like SPIDERS if you stop typing for long. It’s really effective for me.

If you’re more of a positive reinforcement type of writer however… I suggest Written? Kitten! For every 100 words written, you will receive a new kitty picture.

Now if you’ll excuse me… I have a book to write.

What are your favorite drafting tools?

6 thoughts on “Getting things done

  1. I may have to check Written? Kitten! 🙂 I’m currently drafting my new WiP (companion novel of ONE TWO THREE) and I’m super excited but also a bit nervous…because you know, nervous :-)))
    Good luck with your drafting!

  2. I admire anyone who can use Write or Die because just thinking about trying it out gives me anxiety. Haha.

    Anyway, I love the Notes app (or Evernote if I’m being more detailed & need to organize my thoughts) for jotting down lines and such when I’m not at my laptop. When I am on my mac, Scrivener all the way.

    As for starting a book, I don’t start writing until I have a title, first and last names for my main characters, and a few bullet points for each character. Usually, the story comes to me very clearly and it’s the characters that I really have to get to know. I outline loosely so I have the groundwork laid out but I’m still open to whatever happens along the way.

    All the best with book two!!

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