How We Write Wednesdays: Let’s #weWRITE our way to a new draft!

It’s been four months of HoWW craft talk, from characterization to planning to rewriting to drafting. Amazing! And Jenni and I are amazed by the growing enthusiasm for our #weWRITE Twitter hashtag. It’s time to put our money where our mouth is, and challenge our readers and fellow writers to WRITE EVERY DAY for a week. Not for a month. Not an entire novel or story. Not a perfect draft. Just write, fearlessly, until you plug into the energy that calls you to create.

This year, more than any other, that’s what this blog has been for me. If you follow my Revising a Yearseries, you know I needed something to daily inspire me to re-engage my creativity. I challenged myself to write something interesting and meaninful and creative, every day. And the various categories to the right have been buckets of inspiration that refuse to let me off the hook when I sit in front of a blank screen and the doubt demons begin to weigh in on whether I can put imagine on the page that anyone in their right mind would want to read.

Not just How We Write, though working with Jenni on this series has been an amazing experience. But talking about my teenager’s quirky view of life, and about the crazy things I hear throughout the day, and my shoe obsession, and how Publishing Isn’t for Sissies, and my personal challenge to visit all the waterfalls I can reach in North Georgia,  Tennessee, and North and South Carolina. And some of the most amazing mornings have been writing about the dream theories and psychic realm parapsychology that thrives in my psychic fantasy novels.

But… That’s not getting the next book written.

once upon a time

Sure, I’ve worked on several proposals that are now with publishers. Still, the need to write books is always there, waiting for me to dive back into that flow. And I know many of you are in the same place daily. Will I write today? Will I make real progress toward my daily goal? Will I make that book or story or whatever real, when it only exists for now in my head???

So. Here we are. We’ve talked the basics of writing craft. Jenni and I already have plans to cover more formal story structure, etc., because we get so many questions about the terms and techniques we use. And we’re approaching other authors to join us for guest blogs over the summer, to share how THEY write. But that doesn’t get those words on the page, and filling that page with amazing story is ultimately what HoWW and #weWRITE are all about.

Hence, my challenge for you this week, both here (feel free to share in the comments) and on Twitter (follow our band of enthusiastic writers on #weWRITE).

  1. Write into a new story or book every day.
  2. Don’t get up from your computer until your daily progress is reported either here or on #weWRITE.
  3. Don’t buy into the excuse that you can’t, because it’s too hard. It’s supposed to be hard, especially when you’re distracted or afraid or worried or mired in some other details of your life.
  4. Don’t think you’re alone. I’m right there with you, with guest blog deadlines everywhere for my Secret Legacy release, and a trip to BEA in New York yesterday and Monday, and my son taking his first high school finals, and other mayhem going on at home. It’s a rockin’ bitch of a week at Casa Destefano. If I can deal with it, you can. So, deal with it ;o)

And you know I wouldn’t leave you floundering without some, hopefully, helpful suggestions to keep you writing, right?

calvin-writing

Here are a few techniques that inspire me when I’m “improvising” new pages. We’ll be using them through the next week on #weWRITE, to get each other going and keep those fingers typing. Check in over there or here and let us know which ones work for you. 

  • Get that first sentence out. Make it amazing. Let it surprise and inspire you. Share it with your writing buddies, then write the NEXT sentence, and then the next… Each new idea will be easier, once you’ve tuned into your momentum.
  • Set a timer for 10 minutes and free write without stopping or allowing any distraction of any kind.  You’ll amaze yourself, how much you can get done.
  • Hook up with a small group and form a 30-minute, impromptu challenge that gets you all going at the same time, then all sharing your results. The enthusiasm is priceless.
  • Write a scene out of sequence. One you know will come later in the story/novel, that you’re no where near yet in the linear progression of the story. Write that exciting, thrilling moment you can’t wait to sink your teeth into, and see if it doesn’t inspire you to get back to where you were earlier and drive the story forward.
  • Write in a new point of view. One you haven’t tried in this story yet. Free write anything within the world of the story/book from this new person’s perspective to challenge you to see things in a different way.
  • Write the next scene in a different tense (shift from third to first, or from first person past to first person present, or to omniscient/narrative). Tell the story a different way, while you write the next sequential thing happening in the flow of your narrative. For many of us, this will be our true voice breaking through and showing us what we might be missing.

These are just a few suggestions. Share your own techniques with the group, and we’ll follow your lead ;o) Who knows, we just might make this a weekly thing!

Remember, this is a week-long challenge to WRITE EVERY DAY, then to share with us how you write. Here at HoWW or on Jenni’s blog or on #weWRITE, or in all three places. We’re a community of writers, and we need all the support we can get ;o) Then come back next week, where Jenni will be sharing our guest blog plans for the summer and much, much more!

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3 Responses to “How We Write Wednesdays: Let’s #weWRITE our way to a new draft!”

  1. This is a PERFECT challenge for me. I’m frantically polishing my YA for submission and pitches at RWA Nationals but I’m finding that my very rough, partial MG project is tailor made for some of the agents I like. So, I want to try and finish a better draft of my MG, enough so I would feel comfortable pitching it.

    Great idea and I’m looking forward to the challenge!

    Happy writing,
    Natalie

    • Anna says:

      I have a proposal in to a new editor I want to write for, Natalie. One I hope to meet up with at RWA Nationals. I’d drive myself crazy waiting without something new to work on. So, this week I’m turning off the planning for my next psychic fantasy and free writing as much of the opening chapters as I can between now and next Wednesday!

      We’ll challenge each other ;o)

  2. I’m in! Here’s to the #wewrite daily writing challenge….I’m going to use #wordmongering to help me get the results I want!

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