[Note From Frolic: We have a thing for novellas. A BIG thing. In the next installment of an ongoing series, we bring you a post from author Jill Shalvis, whose novella ‘Twist of Fate‘ with our friends at 1001 Dark Nights is out now!]
People often expect the hardest part of writing is finding the right story to write. Not true, not for me. Nope, the hardest part is sitting my tush in the chair every day to get my daily word count. It’s painful really. But since I’ve been doing this since the dawn of time, I present to you the hard-learned Shalvis Tricks that I employed during the writing of Twist of Fate, out now!
No one understands attention or motivation problems more than I do. I’m ADHD and extremely easy to distract. Here’s what I do to get to my daily word count. First I turned off my wifi on my laptop. Second, I put on headphones and listen to a sound app. Today it’s jungle sounds. Yesterday it was a thunder storm with high winds. Third, I sit my butt on the couch/chair/beach lounger (whatever and wherever the day’s “office” is) and I tell myself I can’t get up and have a cookie or load Instagram until I write five hundred words. Repeat four times a day for two thousand words, which is my daily goal. 🙂
Found a new way to trick myself to get my word count. At the end of a writing day, I stop in the middle of a scene. Literally in the middle of a sentence. I return a few times and then write a quick note to myself on where I was headed in the scene. Then the next morning, it’s like MAGIC. No time wasted staring at the blank page, some goddess has left me a note on exactly what to write!
When I’m really truly stuck and I have no idea what to do on the page, I skip ahead to a scene I’ve been looking forward to writing. I allow myself to write it guilt free, out of order because I know that it will spark my poor, beleaguered muse. I’ll get word count and feel good about it, even if it wasn’t what I should have written next. And besides when I finally get to that scene, then … it’s already written! Nothing more exciting than that!
Sometimes my word count can get dragged down by what I have to write next. Last year I got really sick with the flu. We’re talking REALLY sick. I won’t go into details because they’re horrendous. But suffice it to say I wasn’t up for the extended love scene I needed to write. So I type in “He does her here” and then I moved on. By doing that, I was able to write something I could handle that day and got my word count. Just make sure to go back and write that scene. Do NOT do as I did and forget because then you’ll get a puzzled email from your editor. #Embarrassed…
One important thing about word count, at least for me, is to write without judging yourself. Don’t worry about typos. Do not even THINK about stopping to edit yourself. Get into a good frame and mind and let the writing spirit out. Tie up your inner editor and shove her in a closet. That witch doesn’t need to come out until you’re fixing your draft. AFTER you’ve made word count.
Twist of Fate by Jill Shalvis
When the one you want …
Daisy doesn’t believe love is ever-lasting, so it’s ironic as hell that she parlayed a business degree into a wedding planning business. More ironic still is her latest job bringing her back into contact with the man who’d taught her that love can’t last.
Is the one you can’t have…
To say Diego has been taught the hard way to bury emotions is an understatement. But when he’s called home to help the brother he hasn’t seen or spoken to in years, that’s one thing. It’s another entirely to also come face to face with the first woman he ever loved. First and only…
Can love conquer all?
Daisy’s learned to depend only on herself, and Diego is and always has been an island of one. And yet when they’re together, even when they’re bickering, still wary and haunted by memories of what was … it’s magic. The question is, how to find their way back to each other…?