Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The (w)right words.

For me--hands down--the hardest part of writing a novel is, well, the writing.

That sounds more moronic than I meant it to. Let me clarify: For me, the most difficult part of writing is sitting down and pulling the story out of my head. It's the capturing of it on paper. I'm not the most disciplined writer ever (if you couldn't tell), and I delude myself into thinking I'm too busy to write all the time (I'm not. But I am a black-belt in the art of time wasting.)

How does one combat extreme lazy and still get words to paper (almost) every day?

Well, it's a process, but mainly, I force myself to. There's really no other way. Many new writers are amazed at how hard it is to keep writing, especially once the newness of an idea has worn off. When the shininess has faded. (Consequently, this generally unknown difficulty is what makes many nonwriting people think that writing 'isn't a real job--anyone could do it.' Um. No.)

So. To get that story written. Some use the BIC Method, which stand for Butt-in-Chair. Some go a step further and subscribe to the BIC-HOK (Butt-in-chair-hands-on-keyboard).  Others use incentives, set daily word counts, etc. I don't use bribes, mainly because I end up outsmarting myself (that sounds conceited. it's not meant that way) or cheating. (<---Usually this one. ie: Instead of writing 500 NEW words, I'll EDIT 500 I'm also fairly impatient with myself, so it's really no surprise that I get all irritated and sometimes have internal debates* like the following:

WriterMe: Should probably be writing now.
LazyMe: But I know the story. It's not going anywhere.
WM: Should probably get that on paper.
LM: But--
WM: No buts. Write.
LM: Arg, okay. Oh look, chocolate chip cookies!
WM: You're just like all the others.

But eventually I sit down and write words. And sometimes that's all it is--writing words. It's turning down (not off, because I can't do that) the inner editor and just writing the story. Making that lump of clay. It's the only method that works for me, because as much as I love the writing process and creative process as a whole, I like completing things more. The Write Words Method (WWM) gets me a crap ton of clay to work with and refine.

Once the WWM gets me a completed WIP, that's when I move into the Right Words Method (RWM). RWM is about choosing the perfect words or phrases to show this scene. Finding the best way to elicit emotion--sometimes changing one word can alter the perception or emotion a reader has, even subconsciously. Right words means pondering if I made you care about these characters (are they sympathetic?). Are they 3-dimensional? Is that a typo? It's during the Right Words time that my inner editor gets to run wild, and ultimately, whip a work in progress into manuscript shape.

So, what's your method for going from blank document to manuscript? Do you bribe yourself? Combat the lazies like me?

The Battle. Thankfully sleeping doesn't always win.

*For the record, I do not have dissociative identity disorder (DID), or as it's more commonly known, multiply personality disorder (MPD). I just have an overwhelming and distracting case of chronic lazy.


  1. I have to force myself too most days. I am SUCH a whiner. But after an hour or so I get into the zone. That's usually when everyone wants the same time.

  2. I know exactly what you mean. Here lately I've managed to be more on a schedule, but it's probably not going to last with the holidays upon us (too much family around, LOL). But always always always, once I really get going, the phone rings. Or someone knocks on the door. *sigh*