1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

*nods to Feo* A trick for making progress.

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Anders Ämting, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. I used to have a bit of a problem getting my chapters finished - usually I'll jump around and write whatever scene I feel like working on and then try to fit them all together. Often I would get bored or stuck at some place and leave the chapter fragmented. Pushing through the boring or tricky parts would take a great deal of determination that I sometimes just couldn't muster.

    So here's the method I figured out to avoid that. I begin by making a list of the individual scenes of the chapter. Example:

    Chapter 1:
    MC Hero runs into Love Interest.
    Chased by bears! Escape
    Nothing much happens in this part
    Calling in a favor from an old friend
    Her secret: The tattoo is a map!

    Then I start writing wherever I feel like it. Whenever I stop writing, I make sure to color part of the list red, corresponding roughly to how much of that scene I feel I have written. Example:

    Chapter 1:
    MC Hero runs into Love Interest.
    Chased by bears! Escape
    Nothing much happens in this part
    Calling in a favor from an old friend
    Her secret: The tattoo is a map!

    This gives me a decent idea of my progress. Of course, it's not an exact measurement since the scenes can have very different lenght. But I find it works kinda like the progress bar on a download or a software installation: Being able to see the progress actually makes it more tolerable. And when the list looks like this:

    Chapter 1:
    MC Hero runs into Love Interest.
    Chased by bears! Escape
    Nothing much happens in this part
    Calling in a favor from an old friend
    Her secret: The tattoo is a map!


    ...suddenly finishing the chapter doesn't feel that daunting.

    This has been a very big help in getting me into writing again and actually get things finished. So, if any of you guys have similar problems, it might be worth a shot.
     
    gethinmorgan likes this.
  2. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

    1,908
    595
    113
    I've never done this on so large a scale, but I'm starting to use red to mark individual lines I'm having trouble with. (For instance, a bit where one character realizes that her mind's being read, then casually greets the mind-reader and invites her to stay for a while, is currently on the page as [Good morning!] I'll come back to it when I have a better handle on how that character talks.)

    I think a good rule of thumb is that if you've spent five minutes writing and don't have one word to show for it, it's time to either skip ahead a little, or go back to your outline and look for other directions to take the scene.
     
  3. gethinmorgan

    gethinmorgan Scribe

    37
    10
    8
    Think I may well use this ... Cheers!
     
  4. Of course you don't actually have to use red, that's just what I do. You can just as well bold the finished parts or something, whatever works for you. The important thing is that you can easily see how much of the chapter is finished.
     

Share This Page