Setting Writing Goals, Writer Thoughts, Writing Tips

Deleting Words

The last couple of weeks I have been setting up a new laptop much to the cat’s amusement. It’s a cheap, easy to use replacement for the old secondhand one. That gave a warning before it was about to die. It didn’t take long for the cat to work out that the keyboard is low and comfortable to walk on. The cat’s favourite button is the ‘backspace’. It cannot understand why I have an issue with that. Needless to say it knows I have a habit of deleting the last two words I wrote.

Habits

Two words, and the writing session kicks in. Not what I was expecting to find, apparently I need an unfinished sentence… Hmm, I will have to think about that. Well what do you know, it works. Everyone has their own quirks and it’s taken a while to find mine. There are so many times when the process has had to stop and start. It makes finding the little nuances critical. It’s like finding that all important first step that leads to another, then another.

Keeping Track

There is nothing quite like keeping track and stickers are not for me. I have a highlighter pen, a calender, and jot down how many words I wrote. Gaps are part of the schedule, but it’s easier to acknowledge them than try and do too much. The cat has claimed half my desk and insists on glaring at me. While purring at the same time when I type away on the keyboard. The look says ‘you should be writing’. I continue because I really don’t want any more words deleted. Thank you cat for being so supportive and taking an interest in my keyboard.

Writer Thoughts, Writing Tips

Know Your Genre

Imagine you are making a mad dash because you are running late. You see an old friend who has heard you wrote a novel and wants to know more. You don’t have long and blurt out. ‘It’s a young adult fantasy series with dragons, wizards, and sorcery.’ Then wave goodbye. This is exactly how I describe my book to people when I am unsure if they like the genre. Guess what? Your first goal as a writer is to find out who is not your audience. When you know your genre you can whittle it down to the key bits of information. It is a starting point, like a secret code that is easily understood by your real audience. Key words in a genre can mean so much. It can help find your audience in a short space of time by relying on familiarity.

What Does a Genre Achieve?

So you have spent ages writing and are unsure about the genre of your story. The real issue with this is that you, the writer are your story’s biggest advocate. If you are unsure this can magnify the confusion many times over. A genre helps find an audience by using themes and styles that already exist. Every story may be a little different. The key is finding the familiar threads so you can explain it in a clear manner. It acts as a guide to let your audience know what to expect. More importantly it lets them know what not to expect.

Each Genre has a Style

I was wandering through a shop and saw a book with a cover that said ‘fantasy’. I checked the blurb to make sure and it suggested fantasy. You can imagine what happened next… It was paranormal romance. My point is, you don’t have to get the exact details right just the basics. When you choose a genre your choice is there to help your audience find your story. Your tagline, blurb and book cover all become an important message to your reader. Knowing your genre can add an extra layer of information to help your audience.

Writing Tools

Getting Organised to Write

organise-to-writeThis year I thought I would try and get a bit more organised with writing. Below are a few templates to help sketch an outline and to keep track of important dates. My writing process leans toward ‘flying by the seat of your pants’. I do a bit of outlining to help keep on track and to act as a reminder. You are welcome to use these templates for your own writing process. I hope you find them useful.

Keeping Track

It can be helpful to set a few goals. By laying out what sections you need to do as part of the process to keep track throughout the year. I do not stick to my goals or my outlines, but it is handy to go back and change them. If is great for going back and finding what worked and how much you achieved. Being stuck in the process can feel overwhelming and it is always nice to be able to have a map to go by.

Setting Goals

For this year the goal is to get more organised. Last year I was a bit lapse with my process and spent time learning how to edit. This year the plan is to knuckle down and concentrate on my writing. I have been reviewing my processes and timeframes. This has meant spending more time at the beginning of the year to get things set up. The aim is to be able to simply write and keep on track better throughout the year. I wish you the best of luck and hope you have a good year with your writing too.

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PDF Versions:     Writing Timeframe        Writing Planner

Outline Planner         Chapter Planner       Character Details

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