Writing Faster

Prior to the James River Writers conference a week ago, I attended Natasha Sass’s Master Class on “Writing Smarter, Faster, and to Market.” It was the first Master Class I had ever attended. Two hours with a short break went by fast. I wrote notes. I fail at notes. But this time, my notes were nearly eidetic. Sass knows her stuff, expertly fielding questions from attendees. If you have the opportunity to take one of her classes, do so.

It was the writing faster part of her presentation that I want to hone in on here. This is where I need work. I write slower than I would like. I read slower than I would like. She spoke on the Pomodoro Technique, which I thought pertained to making lasagna pasta at home. Actually it’s a way to build habit in writing faster and more concisely. I want to try it out for NaNoWriMo. My only goal will be to follow the method and track my progress as Sass suggested. I’ll begin at five minute increments. That should be do-able, even in a busy day, right?

Afterwards I will check in on myself and report here what I find.

My Writing Take-aways from the Star Wars Prequels

As the newest Star Wars trilogy begins with The Force Awakens, I am reflecting once more on the last trilogy (Episodes I, II, and III), from a writer’s perspective.

Continue reading “My Writing Take-aways from the Star Wars Prequels”

James River Writers – Join Us

The red carpet rolled out, celebrities stepped out, and cameras popped out at the premiere of the James River Writers‘ new video (I’m waving at the 3:20 mark). Check out the video to see what all the buzz is about. After viewing, please consider joining and/or donating to this worthy literary organization!

Classic Dave Barry Tip for Novel Writers

From the Classic Dave Barry 2014 desk calendar:

Remember that you can make big money if your novel is made into a movie, so in your writing, always be alert for opportunities to include scenes that will appeal to the motion-picture industry.

Wrong: “Apprehensively, Hugo entered the room.”

Right: “Apprehensively, Hugo entered the room and found Julia Roberts in there naked.”


Plot versus Character Driven Story

Apropos my recent writing group meeting, I had described my novel in progress as character-driven.

Apropos my recent writing group meeting, I had described my novel in progress as character-driven. But was that accurate? So let’s see. The reason I consider it so is because my approach is take great characters and throw them together and write the story that emerges, rather than begin with a plot and creating characters to suit the needs of the story’s course.

I feel my characters are fully formed and not props to be summoned when needed and discarded soon after. They have their own lives, motivations, personalities. If I’m successful to presenting them to the reader, does that make the novel character-driven? Or is there some other definition? Then what is plot-driven? Is one better than the other?

What do you think? Which do you prefer reading and/or writing?