10 Helpful Tips to Boost Your Writing Productivity

woman with sticky notes

Today’s post is by Kevin McNamara.

It’s common knowledge that in our age we face an overwhelming amount of information every day—and while it’s extremely stressful and distracting, it’s holding us back from being productive. But don’t worry, this tendency affects everyone in the world, including us writers (possibly with the exception of some Buddhist monks who can easily zone out when needed).

There are various books about boosting your working productivity and stress resistance—you should definitely give them a read, but this short list will save you some time until you do.

Hopefully, these tips can be of help to young and aspiring authors, as well as our experienced and established colleagues.

  1. Look out for good advice

Evidently, many writers dismiss posts on boosting productivity by default. They tend to think of those posts as unoriginal and trivial, but even if the advice that you stumble upon does not seem all that original to you, it might be still useful to consider it. Continue Reading…

Understanding Plots and Subplots When Layering Scenes in Novels

A few weeks back, I shared some posts on how writers can layer subplot scenes over the ten foundational novel scenes.

Subplots are terrific if done well, so if you’re writing a novel and you don’t have a subplot, think about adding one. If you missed these posts, go back and check them out.

We’re spending some months exploring my 10-20-30 Scene Builder Concept. Since novel writing is a dog of a task, and it’s daunting to figure out how to transfer all those great scene ideas into a solid story, using a system that helps you build wisely is the key.

While it’s fine to just lay out all your scenes in advance in some sort of intuitively logical order, that often proves disastrous. If a writer doesn’t have a seriously strong grasp of novel structure, it’s not going to be easy to wing it when it comes to organizing scenes. Continue Reading…

Asking “Why?” to Create Rich Characters for Your Novel

woman asking questions

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at an excerpt from a previous post titled Why, Why, Why?

I do a lot of manuscript critiques. Hundreds a year. I find the best way to get writers thinking about their plot and characters is to ask a lot of questions. And since I’m a novelist who loves deep, rich characters, I like to challenge my editing clients to push past the ordinary and into the realm of the complex.

For, people are complex. Humans are complicated. They really are. Maybe someone will disagree with me and claim the opposite. That people are simple, easy to figure out.

Well, I’m guessing those who really believe that will probably portray boring, flat characters in their fiction.

I’m hoping, though, that you want to create characters that are complex and sometimes unpredictable who have countless facets to their personalities and seeming contradictions. Why? Because real people are like that, and we writers are supposed to be encapsulating real life in our novels. (Unless you’re deliberately trying not to for some reason). Continue Reading…

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