Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Focus and... ooh, shiney!

Another bright and early morning... well, not now, but I did have my butt in the seat, opened my database and yesterday's work at seven a.m.

What have I been doing the for the past hour or so? Okay, I'll 'fess up: I was surfing the 'net. And that can easily turn into a problem for any writer with access. It is so distracting (but then... I get distracted by encyclopedia - so much interesting stuff; usually right next to what I'm looking up and then there's more to see - and telephone books as a back up for names when I'm not satisfied with the baby name book I have, and...)

...right, you get the idea.

It's all to easy to think 'I'll just check my e-mail', but you've got reply and there's the Nano boards and your ongoing research - which can be a boon or a disaster.

Example? I'd written 60,000 words then looked up French Royalty and discovered that out of the centuries of Kings, I happened to pick the time where Henri III was duking it out with Henri of Navarre - oh and the Duchy of Burgundy wasn't a part of France then. Some might find such a thing distressing, but I don't, I had a good laugh. I mean, of all French history I chose that era? I can't have my heroine friends with any of them, so I'll have to rethink.

This kind of post-writing research can put a crimp in the work, but all of it can be fixed when editing comes around.

Hmm... I had a point when I started... Oh, yes. Another clue to finishing the 50k or, indeed, any book you're considering is to get rid of all distractions. Including the internet. For the time you've set aside to write, you have to be strong and not fiddle with other stuff.

Your work is the most interesting, the most important thing you can do at the time you're writing it. Don't bother with checking the word count until the end of your writing session. Focus on telling the story, picture it clearly in your head, like a movie. Let the words flow. Your typing speed matters not, get the words down and take pride in the effort when you're done for the day.

Okay. I'm off to kill a few characters. I wonder how I'll do it? Ah, war; so many ways to die...

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