The Writing Process
+ Summary: This is the "hook" that captures readers when they pick up a book at a bookstore or library. Ideally, a summary states the basic premise of
your story, is written in the 3rd person, and has more questions than answers to hook your reader's interest.
+ Synopsis: Put your idea down on paper, from beginning to end. Make sure key points of the story are included in your synopsis
+ Outline vs. Organic writing: Outlines can help keep you focused when writing. It is also important to ensure your story is organized into 3 acts, as this
will help streamline the process if your story is picked up by a studio to become a movie or television show
+ Character profiles (see attachment): Making these for even minor characters in your book or story helps with consistency in your story.
+ Scene building: Like the character profile, it is important to create scene profiles. Include sensory detail: sights, sounds, smells,
temperature, etc. "An alley in Brooklyn" is not very good; "A dark alley on a cold fall night in Brooklyn, with the heat and smell of a burning barrel that the homeless
use to keep warm, Jacob winced when he heard the sound of sirens in the distance" is much better.
+ Always carry a pen or two
+ Carry a notebook or two
+ Cameras are great to capture ideas for characters, scenes / settings, etc.
+ Digital voice recorders are a great tool to get ideas down quickly
+ Business cards can serve as scratch paper to jot ideas down
+ Doctor's pen lights (less than $5 for 6 on Amazon.com) or flashlights can help at night when going for a walk or to keep next to your bed
+ Dragon dictation can help translate your recordings or dictation into word processing documents
+ Google chrome allows you to sync all of your devices so that all web pages you have open on your PC will also appear on your smartphone or tablet, etc.
+ Learn to type!
Avoiding Writer's Block
+ Doodle, paint, draw
+ Journal daily
+ Look for websites that provide daily writing prompts
+ Edit what you've written
+ Pick an item in your house and write a story about it
+ Use pictures as prompts
+ Pick a song and write the story behind it
+ Put the T.V. on and write a character profile on a character, news anchor, or write the next episode of whatever T.V. show is on
+ Stream of consciousness
+ Talk to elderly people
+ Talk to children
+ Exercise (it helps to be alone with your thoughts)
+ Visit celebrity websites like TMZ.com
+Why start your story at the beginning? Use tips form screenwriters and film directors and write a scene that comes later in your story
+ Turn things on their head: Sci-fi in 17th century America, cannibal / human flesh eating cat terrorizes a neighborhood, snail mail thief mystery rather than murder mystery, etc.
+ Dreams are a great source of inspiration, but you forget them 5 minutes after waking up - so keep a pen and paper by your bed
+ News stories - ask "what if?"
+ Buy a Mad Libs book
+ Buy "642 Things to Write About" - has 642 writing prompts
+ Take a classic and change the genre a la Mad Libs - e.g., "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"
+Subscribe to a writers magazine
+ Avoid wasting time trying to "learn your craft" - Use that time to write instead. 1-2 writing groups should be your limit
"I don't have time"
+ Do character profiles on a news anchor or T.V. show character
+ Write while waiting at the doctor's office
+ Write while riding as a passenger in a car
+ Write immediately before going to bed
+ Write while in the bathroom
+ Write while in a restaurant eating
+ Write during breaks at work
"It's just a silly thing I wrote"
+ Don't EVER say that!
+ Take yourself seriously and everyone else will, too
+ Get business cards ASAP - No excuse! Vistaprint has business cards for $5
+ Introduce yourself as an author - if someone asks what you've written, remember that nobody really cares what your answer is - so
you can say "Where do I start? Oh, here's my business card." Just be prepared with an answer that makes sense without lying
+ Get a website / blog