Saturday, 14 June 2008

Writing Schedule and Prompts

During the week I try to keep to a schedule as it is necessary to get any drafting or rewriting done. I set aside a minimum of 30 minutes per day, which often expands if the thoughts surface more rapidly than I had anticipated. It is easier to coax the half hour of writing than to think 'what if nothing comes tonight' and I end up sitting at the desk for most of the evening.

This rarely happens to me as I have my diversions: blog buddies, a stack of books beside my desk to thumb open: either to read a partial chapter or skim in research for another blog article on My Town Monday; sometimes looking at a photograph will jump start my muse and away I go, computer keys clicking or just handwriting.

The majority of my drafting of plots or storyline is done longhand in a scribbler with dates attached for entry notation. Some of it is in pencil as this allows easier rewriting, especially if only a couple of words are needed. And I sit in my comfy recliner to pen these thoughts.

As an aspiring writer, I find that reading other writers in the same or similar genres to be of benefit. It is important to read the first book they published, first as entertainment, secondly, to dissect its components to see how the story was arranged to excite the reader enough to continue.

Another important criteria, is to read comments by writers who have been in the business a goodly portion of their lives. Such as Piers Anthony who has published 137 books and counting.

Today I read the June newsletter of Piers Anthony, which visitors can find on the upper right sidebar. He had written about authors or agents submitting work to publishers and not getting published due to the fact there were only so many slots for work to go to. Once that quota was filled there was no place for the remaining unpublished manuscripts.

Also, I found some of his other comments on a variety of topics refreshing reading and hilarious in places. Some readers may not see the humour, but this may be an age factor related to the concept.


Lyzzydee said...

Hi Barbara, Thanks for your comment on my Roses post. I am also a cross stitcher and know just whats involved!!! That said its nice to have a different craft for different circumstances!
Off to try and think about my town Monday, Looking for inspiration this week!!

Barbara Martin said...

Lyzzydee, crafts can be used as inspiration for writing. Doing crafts can be a bonus with writing, as it takes your mind elsewhere. I find being busy at something other than writing often results in a brainstorm of writing later.

Mary Witzl said...

I like to look at first books too. One thing that irritates me is when the writing of a very successful author deteriorates after one or two excellent books. It is as though they are expected to conform to a schedule, turning out books on a regular basis whether they are properly finished or not.

I tell myself that I wouldn't do the same thing, but who knows?

Barbara Martin said...

Mary, it could be the writers may have had good editors in the beginning and if those editors leave a publishing house, the replacement may not be as good. Although it would be in any writers' best interests to have their work pre-edited before it is presented to their agent or a potential publisher. That way little, if any, editing would have to be done prior to printing.

It seems, from the articles I have read, that authors expect editors at the publishing houses to fix their grammatical and typing errors. I would be embarrassed to send out a manuscript or article that wasn't as polished as it should be.