Sunday, April 22, 2007

Writing Exercises and Quotas

You know when you have those bad writing days? Some days I say I’m grinding out the words letter by letter. Well, it cracked me up to discover that thriller writer, Jeff Buick, sets himself a daily quota of 5,000 characters. Do spaces count? Apostrophes? LOL.

I know how those days are!

How do you count your quota? Words? Letters? Pages? Chapters?

With a thank you to Amie, I wanted to post a link to Lisa Gardner’s Tips & Tricks site. She’s one of those authors that I’ve always meant to try, but have never gotten around to yet. I have a feeling it’s going to be sooner than later.

There is so much on her Tips & Tricks site that I don’t know where to start.

Okay, I won’t. I’ll just let you visit. I came up with the silliest idea. Have you ever "practiced" writing synopses? Ever wrote them for other people’s, already-published books, just to get some practice? I’m thinking I’m going to get on that this week. I’m thinking I’ll learn more about plotting and learn more about synopsis-writing, all in one shot. Oh, who knows.

Speaking of which, do you ever practice technique? I mean, outside of the novel you’re working on, or whatever you might or might hope to be paid for? Ever do little exercises to warm up that will never sold?

6 bonus scribbles:

avery 4/23/2007 09:43:00 AM  

I can't set quotas. I'll occasionally write a checklist of items to be accomplished at some point in the week, but that's as far as I go. Any deeper into structured days and I get up and go find the remote.

I've tried the exercises, and fail miserably every time. Again with the structure issue. I just can't get into doing things other people tell me to -- probably why college didn't sit too well with me.

I like your idea of synopsis writing, though. I'm dreading doing mine, but it's looming very near. Four POV characters and multiple plot twists, combined with my tendency to not understand the definition of 'key points' is going to make this like pulling teeth. Maybe if I try your suggestion I can get a better handle on what I have to do.

Thanks for the idea!

Wendy Roberts 4/23/2007 10:22:00 AM  

Um, yes, I've been known to secretly practice writing synopsis for other books. Somehow it's always easier than writing my own! You will love Lisa Gardner's books.

Erik Ivan James 4/23/2007 12:51:00 PM  

I never set writing quotas. I just write until I don't want to anymore. To me, what's the point if I don't feel like writing?

Exercises? That's what I use my blog for.

spyscribbler 4/23/2007 08:13:00 PM  

LOL, Avery! You won't even do what you tell yourself to do? You sound like my Mister, LOL. Sounds like a fascinating story, though!

Oh cool, Wendy! Did it help? Lisa Gardner is officially on my summer reading list. :-)

I see what you mean, Erik. For me, though, it's more like whether or not I want to improve, long-term, over whether or not I feel like working on any particular day.

I have many hours to go before the beginnings of mastery at 10,000 hours, LOL.

Liz Wolfe 4/23/2007 08:16:00 PM  

You will LOVE Lisa Gardner's books.
I find it easiest to write a synopsis before I've written the book. Once I've written the book, all the details get in the way.
Hey, Wendy, I keep seeing you everywhere I go...LOL. How ya doin?
Liz

spyscribbler 4/23/2007 11:16:00 PM  

Really, Liz? That's cool. I usually do a 10 - 15 line outline after I get about 5 - 10,000 words into a work, and divide it into chapters.

Plotting is hard. I've always been a pantser, and focusing on the plotting and outlining is difficult for me. But I guess what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger!