Tag Archives: young adult novel

Wordcount and Writing Backwards

I’ve been chugging along slowly, but surely.  Mostly slowly.  I was able to draft almost 7500 words on the Lost & Found novella before I slowed things down.  I realized that I knew the end of the story, but some of the middle parts were fuzzy. And, since I was diving head first into writing the middle section, I knew I had to clear things up.

GW-Wordcount-061014

In order to hash out the blank spots in my storyline, I decided to write backwards.  Or, better said, outline backwards.  Since I knew how it ended, I wanted to make sure every step in the story lead me there.  Plot point by plot point, I outlined backwards, identifying what happened in that plot section and what was the hook to make the reader want to continue on.  Eventually I made it through the fuzzy middle and to where my actual writing had stopped.

Now I have to move forward again, one word at a time, fleshing out those plot sections with dialogue, action and character.  Yes, that’s the hardest part, especially on the first draft, but at least I’ve devised a road map to get there.

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Novel Adaptation

Now that we’re in the polishing stage of the first novel, Water & Blood, the many drafts required to get here have been worth it, no matter how much pain the process inflicted. haha.

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The Origins of Gabby Wells

Author Pete Bauer talks about the long and winding path that ended up turning the Gabby Wells character into a novel heroine.

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Writing Characters of Faith

Author Pete Bauer talks about he approaches writing characters of faith in fiction novels.

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Writing Tips

I’ve been writing in one form or another for almost 30 years.  I’d like to share some tips that I use to help me get from the blank page to a finished story.

  1. Writers Write: Writers are compelled to write.  So, if you want to be a writer, write. I’ve come across a lot of people who like the idea of being a writer, but rarely have the discipline it be one.  It’s the difference between the people who want to lose weight and those that actually do.  Be a writer.
  2. Experiment: Approach writing as an experiment.  Have a goal and give it a shot.  This alleviates the pressure of being perfect.  If the experiment turns ugly, that’s okay.  You’ll be a better writer for having tried and learning what not to do allows you to something great later on.
  3. Know the End:  Some people write intuitively and see where the story takes them, but I never start a project without knowing how it ends.  Everything you write should be in service to the ending. If you go down creative tangents, make sure they augment the end.  The more satisfying the end, the more it will resonate with the reader after they’re done.
  4. Writers Block: I have found that I get writers block when I don’t know where the story is going.  I’ve either written myself into a corner or went down a direction that led to a dead end.  Either way, I need a GPS to get me back on track.  To get passed this, my GPS reminds me…
  5. Anything Can Happen:  Whenever I get stuck, I always remember the phrase “anything can happen.”  This frees me from whatever preconceived ideas that are keeping me from moving forward and allows me to indulge in an infinite number of “what ifs.”  Some of the best plot twists I’ve ever devised came from telling myself that “anything can happen.”
  6. Finish the 1st Draft: The hardest draft of any project is the first one.  “Writing is Rewriting” so know you have numerous rewrites in your future.  Don’t worry about making the first draft perfect.  It won’t be.  Ever.  Just get the story out of your head and onto the paper.  You can’t fix a blank page.  You can always fix a first draft.
  7. Close Enough:  If you can’t find the right word, don’t let it stop you. To keep momentum going I simply put the word in question in parenthesis and move on.  For example, I could write “The dog ran up to the porch (breathing quickly).” The next time I edit it, I see the parenthesis and know what I meant to say, replacing it with the word I originally wanted to use; “The dog ran up to the porch panting.”  Inspiration is a rare event.  Don’t let a word here or there stop you from getting it from your head to the paper.

Those are a few tips I’ve learned over time to help me get my thoughts onto paper.  Please share any tips you may have in the comments section.

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