Dealing with Bad Writing - Typewriter

How to finish writing your first novel?

Something really shocking happened today, I am a part of several writing groups on Facebook and one of the admins to a group asked the members, “What their dream as an author is?”

Now I was expecting very deep and eloquent answers from all the brilliant aspiring authors in the group, but surprisingly most of the replies were a very disappointing,“I’m just aiming to finish a novel”.

This idea really inspired me to write this particular post because while I am an aspiring author who still hasn’t even published her first novel, I can very confidently tell you I am well on my way to at least finishing it.

If you are also struggling to finish your novel, follow these simple rules. They are simple and have been verified to work for many a published author the likes of Stephen King, Haruki Murakami.

1. WRITING ROUTINES

Most writers have their own routine. But, what is common amongst them is a daily habit of writing.  I write daily, as do all established writers. Stephen King for example, when he’s working on a novel works on all holidays including Christmas and even his own Birthday. That is the dedication and that’s how you get work done.

Most writers also advocate writing in the morning. I myself believe I write my best in the morning, with a fresh mind. Ryan Holiday also writes in the morning, he believes writing is his profession and treats it like one.

“I am sharpest and least imposed on in the morning
so that’s when I write. I have a ritual: I get up, I shower, I get dressed as
though I am going to a job and then I show up to work.” ~Ryan Holiday

 

2. HAVE A DAILY GOAL 

Set a daily writing goal for yourself, this can be the number of pages you write or just the number of words. Don’t stop until you’ve finished writing your set number. Stephen King and John Grisham both aim for 2000 words daily.

Stephen King recommends 1000 words daily for a new writer, but if you have a full-time job and just can’t find time to do that, write 500 words, heck write 200 words if you only have a few minutes. But stick to it! A novel is generally between 50,000-100,000 words, if you write a 1000 words a day regularly you’ll be done with the novel in a little over 3 months.

 

3. ACCEPT YOUR BAD WRITING

Yes…You read that right…accept your bad writing. You know you put off writing when you can’t write well.

There are days when I sit at my laptop staring at a blank screen and I’m unable to put one coherent sentence in my text editor. These are days I lack motivation and inspiration, but really great writers or at least the established ones always recommend a daily writing habit, so how do you exactly write every day when you’re not motivated or have nothing good to write about.

I know you’re thinking, why would anyone buy my book or read my blog if I don’t write well?Well, you’re not going to sell a book or publish a post, you don’t ever write either.

Picture this, you are at your desk, you are typing away at your computer and the words are just flowing. You are feeling your characters, the situation is absolutely clear in your head and the words are just automatically flowing out of your head into that page.

Now ask yourself how many days in the last month have been like that for you?

If I had to answer that question I’d say very few. Maybe once a week. Now Imagine if I only wrote on days I was feeling this free flow of inspiration. It would take me a few years to complete an entire novel.

Instead, if I just accepted that some days are going to be bad and wrote anyways, I would end up with my novel in a few months and then I can edit it to make it better.

“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without
putting a word on paper.” ~E.B. White

 

4. REWRITE 

You know when you watch a movie about a writer, and they’re just typing away at that dusty old typewriter, and they just pick the pages out, and put them in an envelope addressed to the editor? Yeah, that was they’re last rewrite, not their first draft!

Great writers, rewrite and edit their work multiple times before they think its any good. They have accepted their bad writing too.

Write and edit every day to make improvements. This daily practice will in time reduce the number of rewrites you need to do and the editing process will become shorter as well.

There is a great quote by JK Rowling the author of the Harry Potter Series.

“You have to resign yourself to the fact that you waste a lot of trees before you write anything you really like, and that’s just the way it is. It’s like learning an instrument, you’ve got to be prepared for hitting wrong notes occasionally, or quite a lot, cause I wrote an awful lot before I wrote anything I was really happy with.”

In the end, all I want to say is keep writing, keep working at it, no matter what. If this is your dream, keep trying to make it your reality. All good things come to those who wait and work diligently.

I hope this post helped you find your way to finishing that ever elusive first novel. Do leave me a comment if you have any other suggestions.

I love reading all your comments. Thank you for reading this post, if you’re interested in learning more about writing, I have a great post on How to write a best-selling novel like Stephen King? 

 

 

 

How to write like a cartoonist? - Funny Dice

How to write humor like a Cartoonist?

Have you ever looked at the comic strip in your daily newspaper and wondered how did the writer come up with such an amazing piece?

Well, according to Scott Adams there is an actual formula for creating humor and he uses it every time to create his popular strip Dilbert.

It’s a fact that if you do something long enough you will start to develop your own techniques and methodology, but what Scott says is that every piece of humor no matter who writes will be based on this theory of his.

This ingenious formula of humor, which he calls his Dimensions of Humor can be considered more of a theorem that exists in nature, which he has observed and identified.

According to the theorem, humor is classified into six distinct elements. These are Clever, Naughty, Bizarre, Cruel, Cute, and Recognizable.

And if you want to make your joke really effective you should have at least two of the elements in it. Anything more than two makes your joke even better.

THE SIX DIMENSIONS OF HUMOR

Let’s understand these elements

  • Clever: Well if you’re smart then your jokes must be too. Clever is a combination of words of things that people didn’t think you could combine. The first thing that comes to my mind is the popular sitcom Big Bang Theory, especially Sheldon’s punches are fantastic.
  • Naughty: We all know what that refers to, sex or bathroom jokes. The combination fo naughty and clever will always give you a great result.
  • Bizarre: This is the most powerful element. Anything strange or out of the ordinary. Such as when Ford Prefect sticks a Babel Fish in Arthur’s ear in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
  • Cruel: Any act that is unkind, is a staple in humor. Just think of Charlie Chaplin and his skits, they were always full of people being kicked, hit or being sprinkled with flour.
  • Cute: Mostly refers to animals or kids. In fact, even animal related analogies add to the humor.
  • Recognizable: Humour is about people and the more familiar the story you’re telling the funnier people will find it.

OTHER TIPS ON WRITING HUMOR

Some extra tips for humor writing.

  • Choose an interesting topic. When writing humor, if your topic doesn’t already have an element of humor in it, your joke is going to fall flat.
  • Humor is about people and how they act, so make it believable. There is humor in most of our everyday acts, you just need to find it.
  • The best type of humor is where you make the reader think and analyze. When your reader is reading and making a neural connection that is when you joke is really going to blow his mind.
  • Funny words immediately help the readers prep themselves for what’s coming next, so use them.

Scott Adams is not just a cartoonist but also an established author. He has written several fiction and non-ficiton works of which the latest Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter in which he predicted Trump’s win, two years prior to the election has brought him a lot of fame or infamy.

If you’re interested in reading more about Scott Adams writing here are some links to his work.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703843804575534160113096560

Humor Writing Tutorial

 

Know any funny words? Please share them down below. I love reading your comments! Thanks for reading.

🙂