08 May 2012

How to Accomplish Your Writing Goals

Often plot consultations take place once for two hours. I may hear from a writer off and on for years either on the same project different draft or somewhere in the process of birthing a new story. When I work with a writer on an on-going basis, inevitably our conversation turns to the writer's writing schedule.

A writer has a definite deadline when to complete this current draft. She knows approximately how many words her story is going to be based on research of how many words books in print similar to hers have.

She counts how many writing days are between her deadline and today. Then she divides that number by the total number of words left to accomplish. The number sitting in front of her represents how many words she must write every writing day in order to successfully complete her goal.

The reality of the task ahead of her fills the silence between us. When she next speaks, I hear a new sense of self emerge as she commits to the number of words required of her each writing day. In the next breath, she thinks out loud about awakening one hour earlier each day. No hesitation at that.

Where I do hear resistance is when she expresses the need to not check the internet and email first before writing. Without saying so, we both know that turning on the internet before jumping into writing pretty much ensures that extra hour of sleep she sacrificed for her writing is lost.

Your Turn:
Decide on a deadline in which to complete your current draft. Figure out how much time you are willing to devote to your writing. Schedule on the calendar each writing session and how many words you plan to write each session. Record your progress. Adapt your expectations based on your performance and revise your schedule accordingly.

Schedule a plot consultation day and time with me in your imagination. On that day and time, imagine yourself telling me your progress. At the end of each imagined appointment, I ask you to voice out loud your writing commitment.

Your answer and commitment for this week is _________________ (fill in the blank)

To familiarize yourself with the Universal Story and the basic plot terms in the above blog post:

1) Read The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master (The companion workbook is coming this summer and available for pre-order now ~~ The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories)

2) Watch the Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. A directory of all the steps to the series is to the right of this post. 27-step tutorial on Youtube
3 Watch the Monday Morning Plot Book Group Series on YouTube. A directory the book examples and plot elements discussed is to the left of this post.

For additional tips and information about the Universal Story and plotting a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook Plot Whisperer on Twitter