Tip: Work out what you will need to do to promote your work after it is published. A good rule of thumb is promotion should be ten percent of your writing time so if you spend ten hours a week in writing, one of those hours should be spent on promotion.
Thought: “The trick is not in becoming a writer, it is staying a writer. Day after week after month after year.” – Harlan Ellison
Teaser: This is National Look Alike Day and your character has a doppelganger – a body double – but this one is opposite in personality and creates havoc for him. How does the hero deal with him? Do they meet? What happens?
Thought: “The last thing we decide about a book is what to put first.” – Blaise Pascal
Teaser: Your house is on fire. You live alone and have no pets so there is nobody else to worry about but yourself. What would you risk going back inside for? (Note – this teaser came about when I was staying at a hotel with a group of writer friends and there was a fire in the hotel. All of us gathered in the parking lot and what did we save from our rooms? Our laptops!)
Tip: Cut pictures of characters out of newspapers and magazines (only your own, please) or bookmark sites on the web for visualizing your characters. Don’t pick just the pretty people. Not everyone is gorgeous and you need quirky sidekicks sometimes as well. Pick a wide variety.
Thought: “The beginning of a novel is a time of awful torment, when you’re dealing with a lot of dead pieces and you have to wait and wait for some sort of animation.” – Iris Murdoch
Teaser: Write a scene using words of only one syllable and short sentences, ala “See Spot run.” But do it as an adult murder mystery.
Today is April 6. It is California Poppy Day, National Tartan Day, New Beer’s Eve, Plan Your Epitaph Day, Sorry Charlie Day
Today is the birthday of: Merle Haggard (yes, the musician, but he was also a writer)
Tip: Love what you do. If you don’t enjoy writing, it will show. Yes, this job can be like any other job and get to you sometimes, but if you don’t like it at least some of the time, it will creep into your writing. Today is “Sorry Charlie Day” – a day to reflect on rejections and realize it happens to everyone. Yes, it hurts, but it’s also a way to make you stronger. Keep going even in the face of adversity. You can do this.
Thought: Today’s preparation determines tomorrow’s achievement – Robert Schuller
Teaser: When was the last time you laughed hard? Or cried harder? What happened to make that moment so emotional? Write this as a scene, focusing on the emotions you want your reader to feel.
Tip: Think about putting some classical music on to write by, especially Mozart. Because of the mathematical purity of his music, it is especially stimulating to the brain.
Thought: “Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand—a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods—or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.” – Willa Cather
Teaser: In China, Qingming is a day when people visit the graves of their ancestors. Take a trip to a cemetery – the older, the better – and note dates, ages, names epitaphs if any. Pick one – or several – and come up with reasons why they died.