Game changer

There are a plethora help books for writing. We all glean information in different ways and these books are necessary. What works for one person may not resonate with another. That’s the way of the world.

Bearing that in mind, I’d like to share my recent journey that has turned my 300 words a day (my right hand is dead, so that’s one-handed) into 1,000 words a day and I’m aiming for 2,000 a day – and to spend less time in front of my computer.

My journey began with Nanwrimo. I found Kristen Lamb’s Wana tribe and started sprinting every night. Even after Nanowrimo, I still sprint with them almost every night (their morning).

Around the start of the New Year, I read Chris Fox’s Lifelong Writing Habit. The book recommended a few different things. What I took away from it began the change to my writing habit. I purchased the app “Things” and started to use it everyday. I organised my calendar with reminders to write. I freed brain space in order to think only of my book.

Then I read Jessica Brody’s Save the Cat Writes a Novel and I started to calculate numbers (percentages) based on when a beat should happen i.e. making sure the inciting incident is around 10% of my book. And this is an area we may vary, because I want to limit my book’s word count. I’ve always struggled with confidence, and as a writer wanting to debut (if I sell), I think I’ve more chance at selling a novel if I give publishers what they want when it comes to word count. You may be be confidant than me. I’ll vary my words v percentages a little, but I mostly try to stick to beats in the right places.

After, I read another of Chris Fox’s books – 5000 words an hour. I knew I wasn’t physically capable of this, but I was curious. Around this time a gaming keyboard was recommended to me from someone within the Wanatribe (thank you!). And within Chris’s book, he recommended the Game Changer for me.

Rachel Aaron’s 2k to 10k.

What a brilliant method to write. I love it. It’s my game changer. It may not be yours, but if it can help you in a small way, heck, that’s awesome, yes?

What’s even funnier, I’d already heard of Rachel Aaron through a totally separate source. Back in 2017, Rachel was on the Creative Penn here. I was impressed then, imagine my surprise when I realised the author of 2k to 10k was one and the same person? The writing community is a small one as much as its a big one.

I’ve recently created “mood” playlists on Spotify, thanks to James Scott Bell’s, Voice: the secret power to great writing who inspired me.

To top of my journey, I’m reading an incredible book Kristen Lamb recommended – Larry Brook’s Story Engineering.

I’ve lost count of how many books I’ve read on the craft (they’ll be on Goodreads) and I’m sure there will be more, but at the moment, this is the path that will push me to finish my book (at least, ready for beta readers) by the end of March, hopefully mid-March. I’ll check back and let you know how I go.

Fingers crossed!

I’m a tad slow to the party

Admittedly, I did have a stroke and spent 16 months in hospital, but that still doesn’t excuse my tardiness. For what you ask? For Dexter.

This show has been my guilty pleasure of late. Why? There is a twisted sense of expectation about a serial killer in the police force. And not just your average serial killer, one with a specific code of ethics. Again more specific, he’s not just a cop, he’s a blood splatter analyst.

I’ve now added the book to my ‘want-to-read’ list on Goodreads. The author, Jeff Lindsay, has a new superfan. I undoubtedly join millions of other people.

He’s taken an ordinary premise and has drilled down deep. He concocted a protagonist we like, despite Dexter’s heinous crimes. Heck, give us a ‘D’, give us an ‘e’, an ‘x’, a ‘t’, an ‘e’ and an ‘r’. What do we have? “Dexter!”.

You’re probably thinking, “tell me something I don’t know!”

Well, last Friday I started watching a show my best friend recommended to me. By Saturday night, I’d finished 3 seasons. The show is on Netflix and is tarred with the same brush as Dexter. It’s the same, but different, a favourite Hollywood saying.

This time we’re not cheering for the family-man serial killer, we’re cheering for Gillian Anderson’s character. And, man, she looks AMAZING for her age and she’s a superior actress from her X-Files days. This serial killer has a different path from Dexter, but his path is compelling. Not to the same extent as Dexter, but still riveting.

It’s a nice trick, both shows give the serial killers a family, which helps the viewer like them.

I’m looking forward to the next instalment for this kind of protagonist.