Here’s the eleventh episode of the Writing Talk Podcast.

It’s time to tackle the writing. Today we’re going to kick off with starting to write seriously.

In other words, we’re taking a serious look at building up your expertise as a writer.

I hope you enjoy listening.

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Show Notes

Recap – so far we’ve looked at picking the right kind of writing project for our skills and objectives, assessing the workload, and establishing a theme.

There isn’t just one writing mindset: planning, writing a draft, rewriting, and editing are all different mindsets.

Separate them or live with the consequences.

If you want to improve, forget what’s comfortable and seek out what is the most productive. Improving each of those processes, bit by bit, takes different skills.

Don’t put yourself in a box. Be honest about your weaknesses and strengths. Set yourself some targets or goals then be patient.

For a novel, you will need at least a few sentences for each chapter or scene. Scribble away!

Why would anyone want to read it? Give it some drive.

Nitpick now – otherwise the niggles will stop you writing and interrupt your flow.

Ask yourself why the scene is important? Would a character really do those things? Does s/he require special knowledge/awareness/equipment? Does the timeline work?

My process – after a broad brush plan, I prepare for the writing session with a seven minute scribble: rough notes, getting the order right, adding snatches of dialogue and details. Then I’m ready to go.

Action Steps

Check how much you separate your processes. If they all run together into an incoherent jumble, ask if it would suit you to separate them. Would it make better use of your writing time if you were better prepared?

Try a Seven Minute Scribble. Set a timer and see how many plot details you can blast down with pen and paper in that time. If you surprise yourself with the amount, try adding this type of planning into your process.

Quote on Writing

I don’t denigrate anybody’s process, but with my life the way it is – I produce movies, I act, I write novels, I do TV, and I have other businesses. So my life is fairly full. And I have a family. I can’t hit my deadlines if I’m throwing away 300 pages of a book. So I’m very careful about what I write, and that’s how I start. I finally get to the place where the book has matured in my mind and I can hardly wait to start writing it. Then I just sit down and I start. I hit the go button. I have an outline, which is 70 pages, but I don’t look at it. I never have to look at it.

-Stephen J. Cannell

My current read – The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

The Corrections

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