You have a story idea. You’ve narrowed down the plot points, characters, and conflict. You know exactly how the story will end…or not. Regardless of your preparation, you are ready to write your story. Make it a goal to write your first draft in a few weeks or even a month. Be sure it is a goal you are comfortable with. Next, think about the following concepts to help you through the process of writing your story:
It’s important to be accountable with your goal. You can share this goal on your blog or any social media you prefer. Maybe you’ll share your goal with a trusted friend. Even if you just write your goal on an index card and post it on your wall, be sure to make yourself accountable in some way.
What writing tools work best for you? Do you prefer good ‘ole paper and pencil or the computer? I typically write on the computer, but I like to switch between writing long hand and various writing programs. 750words.com is a no-frills program that promotes writing daily. After logging in, you’ll find a blank screen that will keep track of your word count and alert you when you reach 750 words. Write or Die allows you to set up a timer and word count goal. You have to beat the clock or the screen will start blinking and even start deleting your words if you stop writing. I also use Scrivener to keep track of my stories, notes, and lists.
Will you write every day or a few times a week? Will you write for 15 − 20 minutes at a time or random 5 minute moments when you can write something down? It doesn’t matter how you organize this as long as you are writing. Maybe the only time you have to write is on Sunday evenings for an hour or two. Maybe you just have 10 minutes every morning. Whatever frequency you can manage, do it consistently. Make your goal easy to accomplish at first. Then you can add a little more time once you have a routine going.
Getting your story written means sitting down and getting to work on your first draft. However you decide to organize your writing time, take pride in knowing you are being proactive. Take pleasure in knowing you are doing something worthy. Add it to your routine as any other daily or weekly activity. This is IMPORTANT to you. You might have to let go of some activities so that you have a little more time to write, but it will eventually pay off in the end.
As for me, I completed my Four Short Stories Challenge in September. This month, I plan on editing these stories. Also see So You Want to Write a Short Story (Part 1: Getting Started).
Are you in the process of completing a short story? What is you progress so far?
What is your writing schedule?