Writing Habits that I Picked Up from Writing What About Today
What About Today is my second novella. It’s one of the products of Mina V. Esquerra’s class, #BuqoYA. We were given five weeks to finish our stories then, and I was able to finish on time (with a little bit to spare!).
As I was determined to finished a story for the class, I picked up a couple of writing habits that I still find handy with writing my next novels.
- Setting a clear deadline. Because we were in a class, we were given a clear deadline. When I was writing my first book, The Boyfriend Backtrack, I gave myself a deadline, but it was a bit loose, so naturally, I moved it around for a couple of weeks. I still struggle with this, honestly, but I think it really helps if you check your progress every once in a while and really circle a date in your calendar. Toughening it up with the deadline helps get the job done.
- Assigning Pegs. I found pegs very useful while writing WAT because I was writing in third person but was switching POVs. I didn’t want the characters to sound like the same person, so I’ve learned to watch videos of my pegs. From there, I get to pick up some of their habits and quirks, and this ultimately helped me get back to the groove and vibe of the character and the story.
- Having a writing routine/schedule. There are a couple of articles online that collated writers’ routines and rituals. When I was writing WAT, I pushed myself to write something every night (after dinner), even if I wasn’t feeling it. I’d get myself to write even a couple of sentences/ paragraphs, sometimes I’ll just let my characters talk. This helped me keep my momentum.
- Writing with the end in mind. I wrote the ending of this story while I was still in the middle of it. I’m not much of an outliner, I’m more of a pantser, but I think when you already know what kind of ending you want to have for your story, it’s easier to fill in everything else.
- Writing drunk, editing sober (that’s Hemingway, but internet says it’s not). I think it’s great that when you start, you get so drunk on your story that you just write it. You don’t think about the details so much, you just write, write, write. But once you’re ready to take a look at it with a different eye – right before you send it out to your beta readers/ editors, it’s better that you condition yourself to not get too attached to the material. There will be scrapping involved, there always is especially from a first draft, so I suck it up and stick with the bits that work, and get rid of what doesn’t.
And that’s it! I hope to you find at least one of these tips work for you- but if not, just experiment. It’s what I did, and am still doing. It also really helps to have a community aka a support group when you write, just so you don’t drive yourself mad in the whole process. Writing is a never ending learning experience and I think as long as you’re having fun with it, then it’s worth your time. 🙂
About the Book
Aiden’s stuck working for his family’s amusement park, Funtastic World, for the whole summer. Nothing amuses him, until he met this terrified girl.
Gemma’s stuck in Funtastic World thinking she could handle the park’s rides. She couldn’t. Good thing she met someone to guide her.
As the day comes to a close, Aiden and Gemma ask themselves if one day is ever enough to decide if they were better off as friends or strangers.
* This story is currently available on BuqoYA Bundle 4: Heart Choices.
Gemma glanced at her watch and remembered that she was supposed to catch the bus heading back home at 7 in the evening. It’s already 5. Did she really spend a lot of time staring at The Big Red Dragon earlier? Or did she take too much time at the gift shop to buy nothing?
She started feeling like two hours wouldn’t be enough to complete everything. Could she maybe extend? Then again, how would leaving play out exactly?
“Alright, I need to go” isn’t going to cut it. She and Aiden already had moments. Now they’re in this limbo between being strangers and friends. They weren’t exactly strangers, but they weren’t friends just yet.
Plus they’re in an amusement park. They just met. Did it count for something?
She wished this could be more of a train incident where people smiled at each other when one offered a seat and that’s the end of that. They all get off their stops.
And if she and Aiden were ever going to be friends, in the real sense of the word after today, how’s that going to work? They’re going to stay in touch by texting? Chatting online? It all seemed superficial. It was not like meeting someone in school; she’s required to see that person almost every day, which made being friends with someone almost compulsory. But meetings like these…what did one do with them?
File them to chance encounters.
About the Author
Dawn Lanuza has been imagining and writing love stories since she was a kid. She works for the music industry by day, and writes about meet cutes and snappy comebacks by night. She writes short stories, chick lit and young-adult fiction. She has a degree in Development Communication from the University of the Philippines.
Blog – http://www.indiesisiw.wordpress.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/dawnlanuza
Instagram – http://instagram.com/dawnrunsfast
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8638162.Dawn_Lanuza