How to Get It Written: I Make Progress #amwriting

I’m surprised that this year, Daylight Savings Time (DST) is only a minor divot in my productivity. Most years it lands me on my butt for two weeks or more. Here’s what I think is different:

  • DST may be bad, but more daylight in general is good. I’m getting out in it, too.
  • I’m solidly on my keto diet, more solidly than I’ve been for three months.
  • I’m really focusing on using the tools I’ve found helpful and ditching those that aren’t.
    Handwriting is my new super tool. (Image courtesy of IndypendenZ at http://FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

    I’ve found that revising a novel outline (or even creating one! but that’s another post…) is difficult, so I spent some time setting up a system to be sure that I can use my best tools.

  • Limiting how far I can wander when distracted. It’s way too easy for me to go crazy writing in the index card/synopsis area of Scrivener. I’ve abandoned projects before because I’d put Too. Much. Information. into the outline. Now that I’m using a variant of Save the Cat! Writes a Novel (Jessica Brody) outlining, physical index cards for outlining are a suggestion. The nice thing about physical index cards is that there’s a limit to how much I can put on one; the crummy thing is that getting them back into Scrivener is a pain. So I artificially limit the size of my Scrivener synopses. I feel better if each synopsis (beat) only contains the amount of info I can jam onto a 5″×3″ index card (11 lines of 43 old-fashioned typewritten characters each.) Yes, I counted. Yes, I’m obsessive. Sue me.

  • Handwriting. Misery, thy name is “dictation,” but I find that typing is not ideal for my fiction, either. It works for my nonfiction, but my fiction works better if I handwrite. Everything. (Not on paper! I use a handwriting keyboard.) When I’m stuck, I get antsy and want to have a pencil in my hand. Today I spent some time setting up both my iPad and my iPhone to be effective handwriting editors for those 437 characters. I now have a smooth outlining workflow from Scrivener Mac to the iThings and back.

The result? I managed to get seven Save the Cat!-style beats revised today. The appropriate sections affected by changed beats are marked for intensive revision. I feel like I can rip right along now and get all the stuff I dictated in November docketed and slated for revision in a week.

Damn! That is amazing! Here’s hoping it’s not a flash in the pan.

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3 thoughts on “How to Get It Written: I Make Progress #amwriting”

  1. Hi Sandra, always interested in your writings tips ! Recently, I decided to live at the solar hour. It is very comfortable to follow only the sun. I live in Brittany, UTC+1 or 2. I make my own resistance to the social time in following the rythme of Mother Nature. I never feel stressed about the time as I did before, running after time, I always have much time to do all that I want to do. I live alone, so I can live as I want or need. My only regret : why I have’nt think of that earlier ? Happy Writings !

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