Wednesday, March 21, 2012

No! Don't Quit! Finish That Novel!

Recently, I've discovered Craig's List. Yes! I absolutely LOVE it. I sold my corner desk within fifteen minutes of posting it, and then found my new desk in less than that!

The week following, I sold a few more things. I told my family that they better watch out, I just might put them on there. (Of course I'd never do that! I have to have them around so I can cart them to sporting events and get more writing finished!)

Anyways, I thought it would be fun to check out any potential writing jobs....and what I found BROKE MY HEART!



There was an ad from a writer who was seeking another writer for help with her manuscript.

Immediately, I typed out an email that begged her to join my local writer's group, take more classes, give her all my contacts, but I continued to hit the delete button. None of those things were going to help unless she was ready for it.

When I started out, I did everything I could to better my craft. And in today's age, it's so much easier to do than it was even five years ago with the internet readily at your finger tips.

No matter what your PR Personality (take the PR Personality quiz here), whether you are an introvert or extrovert, you can finish that novel!

Here are some tips to get you to the finish line:

1) DISCIPLINE
Writing is no different than waking up and going to a day job (which most of us do anyways) or even doing an exercise regimen on a daily basis. Many times I look at my dog's round black eyes when I know that if I don't take him for a walk, he will poop in the house when I'm sleeping.

2) VISUALIZE
There is nothing more powerful than your imagination. You have stories up in that noggin' of yours that is wanting to come out. You need to visualize yourself writing THE END, and then plastering it all over Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, AND your blog!

3) REREAD
I divide my novels up in three sections so I won't have issues ending my novel. I have a general idea on the length of my novel and I divide that by three. When I hit the word count for the first third, I go back and reread what I have written so far. It never fails that ideas that I had forgotten about, or didn't write down, tend to come flooding back. It also lets me begin to beef up the novel. It's like I edit in thirds.

4) VOICE IN YOUR HEAD
Yes! I mean your characters! Sometimes your character is going to fight you tooth and nail because she doesn't want to be a shoe salesman at the Saks Fifth Avenue. She wants to be the Foreman running the job in expanding the Saks Fifth Avenue. This will stick you every time! You have to listen to those characters and let them take you on their journey.

5) STEP AWAY
Don't roll your eyes! I'm not telling you to step away for a length of time, but maybe you need a fresh perspective. Take a couple of days and walk away from your novel. Read some of your TBR pile and read, read, read, read.

Try it! I guarantee that if you only do a couple of these suggested five items, it will help get you to THE END!


Do you have any tips or tricks if you get stuck? I love hearing from you!!

21 comments:

  1. I am becoming a daily fan of yours, keeping in touch with your daily blogs because I find them very informative for the aspiring author.
    Today I am proud to say, your message made me feel proud of myself, because after I had gone a good way into a story, I had given up on it and I had followed all the tips above to get back into believing I can finish it.
    I had devided the book into two parts and read back the first part, doing so much rewrite that what I had written before turned into an outline.
    I had also stepped away for about two weeks before returning and during the rewrite I started to see things clearer. And yes, I am committing myself to ending it, no matter what it turns out to be.
    I dont see the end in my mind as yet, and as much as I know how it SHOULD end, I know my characters will have another plan by the time I get there.
    Thanks a lot for your very helpful blog and if you have the time, take a read at my chapter one for my WIP on my blog @ http://nicolajeffreytheauthor.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/chapter-1-work-in-progress/

    Thanks

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    1. Nicola, I'm so thankful and grateful that you find this blog helpful. Every time I sit down to write a new blog, I try to think what was helpful to me when I began my journey to publication. YOU guys keep me going. I'm so grateful for you!
      I'm also so glad that you knew when it was time to just step away and come back with a fresh set of eyes, instead of giving up. I'm very proud of you for that. Most writers give up and I want to scream NO! There are answers and strategies to help you.
      I'm going to pop over and read your chapter! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. As always, fantastic advice. All do-able. Not easy, but simple. So easy to get discouraged, so I loved your exercise analogy. So hard to get butt in chair, but you feel so good when you get up!!

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    1. PJ, why is it so hard to sit my butt down in the chair in front of my computer, when I have not problem plopping it on the couch with my remote in hand?? There is nothing greater than getting your tush in a chair and hours later get up and realize you just wrote over 5k words! LOVE it! NO better feeling!

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  3. I've gotten distracted with many other life issues and gotten away from what worked- concentrating on the story everyday like putting on clothing. If I sit down to write 100 words I'll write many more than that. If I think about the story everyday, plot it, talk to the characters, keep it alive, those brief moments turn into much more. Each of those sessions builds on itself in momentum. Ditto what Nicola said. I try to get by everyday because there's always something valuable here.

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    1. **blushing** Pistol Pete, can you and Nicole email me everyday:)) You put a big ole smile on my face even when I did have to pay for gas today...sigh...
      Your words are so true "each of those sessions builds on itself in momentum." It becomes a habit that when you do miss, you feel guilty! Good for you for getting back on the horse! YEEE HAW!

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  4. Good points Tonya. I've always said that writing is a job like any other. No magic, just but in the chair time. I'm a big believer in stepping away for a bit.

    After over a year of not writing much on any of my projects--just too damn sick--I've been sorting through what I want to do. My muse is alive and well. Currently she's sporting duct tape because I can't let her lose today. :-) And I do need to organize myself.

    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

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    1. Oh, Sia. I'm always sending you healing thoughts. Sorting and organizing is a big thing to do with a WIP. That really gets muses going.

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  5. You're advice is always such an inspiring treat to read. Today, I was feeling a little low. Wasn't sure I had it in me to try to get my dailies done. Then I read this anc realized I HAD to write tonight. Even if it meant sacrificing sleep. I need to put the words on paper so I can FINALLY get to...The End!

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    1. Jennifer, I see your word count everyday on Facebook. You tend to beat yourself up when you ONLY get 700 words in. That is great!! Change your thinking process to "wow, I did 700 words today!"
      I'm so glad I pushed you over the edge. . .just a nudge. You will be happy in the morning!Hey, what are friends for?

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  6. I always enjoy your posts! This one really strikes home as just 'finishing' a novel has been such a challenge for me in the past few years. I was SO pleased when I got to "The End" on my current WIP - even if it meant knowing that there was still SO much work to do on it ;)

    Thanks for posting! I'm inspired to stay up all night and see if I can't get a few thousand words edited!

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    1. YIPPEE!! Go, Josie! I sit down everyday and don't use the bathroom,eat, or MOVE until I get at least 2k words written. Generally, I end up in the 2-3k words category. BUT I have to. I want to reach THE END so bad and get new stories in my readers hands. It's so humbling and such an honor to get an email from a reader where they say that your novel has touched them in some way. REALLY lights a fire under me:))
      Let me know how many words you get in. 100 or 1k, no matter, it's words that you edited that leaves you fewer to edit tomorrow and closer to getting your baby to your readers!

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  7. Great advice, Tonya! When I get stuck, I head down to the craft section of the local department store and buy scrapbook stickers. All of the images set my imagination into overdrive. :)

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    1. Sheila, there is nothing more fun than pampering your muse. I always do a little crafty things on my story board that reminds me of the feel of the book.

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  8. Wonderful post Tonya! It is so true that it can take a combination, or all five of the tips you suggested to get you through to "The End." You are such a great encourager! XOXO

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    1. Thanks so much, Jen. I appreciate your kind words. I try to give tips that has helped me and pass those on.

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  9. Great post, one that I'll be following in the future. For any writer to learn they must be ready.

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    1. Welcome Madison! Yes, a writer has to be open to what is thrown at them and be ready.

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  10. I always try to think of what two things can happen in a situation--the BEST and WORST. Usually one works ad gets me flowing again.

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    1. Hope, that is a great idea. Especially if you know what you can do to get you unstuck!

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  11. I have been working on my novel for almost three years...thank you for these practical tips...I am resolved to finish!!!!!

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