Some Great Tips

My friend, Keven J. Anderson is reposting some of his tips on writing productivity. He’s doing them a few at a time. You might want to follow them if you have a desire to write fiction. I’ve listened to him talk about these and he gives some great advice in my opinion.

You can come back here and discuss them if you want.

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14 Responses to Some Great Tips

  1. Thanks for the link, Dean. It was just what I needed this morning.

    Now if I could only get my family to understand, I’d have it made. ;)

  2. Thomas E says:

    I agree with the empty-page tip. It’s really hard for me to start a new project when I am cold… personally, I get around that by my goal of always being in the middle of writing something. When I finish writing one short story I always start another right away.

  3. Rob Cornell says:

    Great stuff (except for all that talk about rewriting and editing)! :)

  4. Vera Soroka says:

    I just finished my book today and I hate to say this but this another version of the book due to rewriting and editing. I have no clue about this revising thing. Now I have two books with the same main characters but two different stories. There was really nothing wrong with the first one.

    • dwsmith says:

      Vera, sell them both. That’s normal.

    • J. A. Whye says:

      Way back in the olden days I watched the movie Support Your Local Sheriff! and then a few years later watched it again — except there was something weird going on. Same town, same actors/characters, kind of the same movie… but the story was different somehow. It wasn’t until years after that I realized I’d seen Support Your Local Gunfighter instead of the first movie.

      Both movies shared many elements but they were both good by themselves.


    • I agree about selling both. I’ll be writing the same story but with different angles. I might call it “alternate version”. Twilight did it with the fourth book, right? Same story but different. With so much freedom, do whatever you like. If the stories are too similar, just say “alternate ending”.

  5. Thanks for the tip, Dean! I could use it right now….

    And for a reason that makes me want to add an addendum onto his item 1: I’m dealing with a life roll right now. I just got laid off from my job, something which I’m not terribly unhappy about, but I still have some fall out to deal with.

    So the addendum I’d like to add to his “Shut Up And Write” is one I got as a young filmmaker. Filmmakers, like people going through a life roll, have a whole lot of stuff to do before they can get back to the project. It’s all stuff that you could do forever and ever and ever and never actually start production.

    So if you’re in a situation where there is something you have to deal with first, the guerilla filmmaking rule is:

    “Set A Date To Start.”

    If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll never be ready. But if you set a date and actually respect that date no matter how much you feel like you’re not ready, you’ll get on track again.

  6. Ramon Terrell says:

    Yes, some great tips. Looking forward to the next ones. After finishing with a move, and some job stuff and everything else going on, it’s nice to sit back in the chair and put fingers to keyboard. Finally about to finish this latest book.

    I had a six book goal for the year and it looks like I might max out at four. :(

    • I haven’t met my goals either. Just accept our part and learn from the mistakes. I’ll be on track to have published 10 ebooks (approx 50,000 each) in 2012. I wasted time watching the Olympics, Youtube, etc. I used my hand pain as an excuse when I could’ve found other ways to write. Still…if not for this website, I’d have done one book in a year and had another stuck in the endless query cycle. I’m not where I want to be, but at least I’m not where I used to be.

      Well done for publishing 4 books. That’s more than many writers do in 5 yrs, some even in 10. Maybe aim for 8 books next year, so if you miss your target you’ll still do well.

  7. Mark says:

    Same here. I found that starting from a blank page just didnt do it for me. Having a detailed outline helped. In fact, the more detailed the outline, the better the story, and the faster the story got written. Doing the outline usually only takes me an hour or so, if that.

    At times I change the story as I go, or “optimize” it, but I find its always better to fix mistakes in the beginning as your writing, rather than days or weeks down the road which disrupt the flow of the story.

  8. I always outline, but without much detail, just the basic scene sequence. If I go into detail, it kills the excitement for me. I like to discover the emotional impact as I write. Without any outline at all, my brain freezes. I usually add a few scenes as I write. And sometimes I add a few more after my first reader gives me feedback. My tendency is to leave out a bit too much.

  9. Kevin O. McLaughlin says:

    I love Kevin Anderson’s comments about this sort of thing. He’s so matter of fact about it, so straightforward. Like certain other bloggers I’ve read from time to time (grin at DWS).

    It’s good stuff, and timely for many of us. In my case, I’m coming off a horrible streak of “life happens” and trying to write while working a new full time job, driving over 500 miles round trip every weekend to by with my wife and kids, packing our old house in prep to move to a new state next month, running NaNoWriMo stuff in the old state for the last year I’ll be able to do so, taking full time online college classes, and, oh yeah, trying to get back into the swing of writing again too.

    Still wrote several thousand words of fiction this past week. ;) It might be a trickle for a little while,mental things settle down, but we all have the power to get the work done, if we make it a priority.

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