Essential writing skills: how to make words your servants

Half the battle for writers is making writing their servant – not being a servant to the words. It’s a lesson novice writers usually only discover after they’re about half way through the first book and are finding the words mastering them, not the other way around. It has to be addressed. And there is, alas,… More Essential writing skills: how to make words your servants

Essential writing skills: mastering word count

Welcome to 2014 and a new year of writing tips – quick essential skill tips on Fridays, longer posts Saturdays, and sometimes other stuff during the week. I’m going to cover a fair number of things in coming weeks and months, including editing techniques and ways to publish. First off – word count. Those who’ve… More Essential writing skills: mastering word count

How to write and not be driven to eat your own weight in lard

After four weeks cudgelling words into existence and watching that count rise, National Novel Writing Month’s over. And now …what? I figure there are three possible scenarios: 1. I hit the target and have a 50,000 word novel drafted. 2. I didn’t hit the target and have something less than 50,000 words. 3. I would… More How to write and not be driven to eat your own weight in lard

Grab your readers by controlling your organising principle

The real secret to writing quickly – and to making sure that everything you write is relevant – is to understand and control the ‘organising principle’ behind what you’re doing. This is something that is more fundamental even than structure to writing – because it tells you not only what the structure is going to… More Grab your readers by controlling your organising principle

Why word count is essential but not an end goal for writers

I am always intrigued by the way writing is often perceived as word count. You can get widgets to broadcast progress to the internet. Contests such as National Novel Writing Month pivot on it – 50,000 words in a month. Being able to write to speed and volume is a fundamental skill for writers, and… More Why word count is essential but not an end goal for writers