Elan tells a tiny lie at the episode’s opening, but once that fib’s behind the crew, they dig into talking about NaNoWriMo. We’ve been NaNoRebels, NaNoLameOs, and NaNoJudgeMos when the need struck us, and for better or worse, we’re all NaNo adjacent. The conversation moves somewhat far afield of the initial topic (as it tends to do), but we hope that, whether you NaNo or No, you find the episode—and the entire month of November—inspiring and positive.
Choose a project for NaNoWriMo (or not) in which you aren’t completely invested, in terms of your emotional connection to the story. Use story dice or other randomizers to pick a story and just run with it.
We have talked extensively about daily writing, techniques for achieving it, and the ostensible benefits of it. Let’s take a step back and discuss what it’s like in the trenches of daily writing, the frustrations that may arise, and the methods we use to keep ourselves on task.
Track your daily word counts, whether you write or not. Also, take note of the context in which you were most (and least) productive. How were you feeling? What was work like that day? What kind of music were you listening to?
When John mentioned the term “Fractal Outlining” several episodes ago, Elan’s mind exploded. Because he still hasn’t recovered, the Write Right crew was gracious enough to dedicate a full episode to the topic, wherein Elan will pepper John with questions about it.
From July 28th through August 15th, Elan was away, on both the Writing Excuses Cruise and in Finland for Worldcon 75. In this episode, Elan talks about his experience and John and Craig do all the question-asking!
Use a story element randomizer (or story cubes/story dice) to write two 250-word short stories. Set a time limit for yourself when writing them.
There’s a well-known adage in genre fiction, whereby worldbuilding is like an iceberg. You only see the 30% that is above the surface, but you build the entire thing, and that other 70% is what makes your world feel real. This isn’t a universally held belief, however. How much of the iceberg to you build when you write?
Writing every day isn’t for everyone, but most people want to build a daily practice. But it’s a difficult thing to do; forming any kind of habit is hard. How do you make sure that you write every day? How do you motivate and schedule yourself?
We live in a world of distraction. Distraction is an enormous challenge for almost all of us, rearing its shiny head to peel us away from the work we care about or need to do. We recently talked about active and reactive work, but no matter our best intentions, distractions all-too-frequently take us away from accomplishing either. How do you fight distractions?
Day to day, choices are forced upon us, from the moment we get up to check our inbox and messages, to the many interruptions at work. Often, we get few opportunities to do the work we really want to do because we’re too busy reacting. Important work requires willful action to drive it, but the art of executing this requires battling the forces of reaction that surround us.
Plotting and pantsing are often described as diametrically opposed concepts, incompatible with each other and mutually exclusive. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. In reality, we all fall somewhere in between on the spectrum of plot and pants. We plotz.