How to Get That Manuscript Finished by Emma Bennet

I’m sure pretty much every writer would agree that STARTING writing a new book is the easy bit, it’s actually getting that manuscript finished that’s tough, particularly when the initial excitement of the new idea wanes a little. It certainly doesn’t help that life has a nasty habit of getting in the way of writing. Here are some tips I’ve picked up, I hope aspiring authors will find them helpful.

1: Make as detailed a plan of your storyline as you possibly can before you actually start ‘writing’. The plan can always be changed and updated, but it will give you a guide.

2: Set yourself a REALISTIC daily word target, and really, really try to stick to it. 500-2000 words is generally sensible.

3: Turn off the internet – Facebook and Twitter are very, very useful when it comes to marketing your book and making contacts BUT they do not help write your book! Unplug that internet and only plug it back in again when you’ve reached your word target!

4: Set aside proper time for your writing, even if that can only be a few minutes some days! Many of my best scenes were sketched out whilst waiting for my son to finish Judo.

5: Before you end your writing session, make a plan for what you’re going to tackle in the next one, that way you won’t sit down with no idea what to write! (Hopefully!)

6: I find it useful to write a first draft as quickly as possible, getting all key events in, so I have a really good idea of chronology in the story.

7: Read everything you can, but especially books from your chosen genre. This will give you a great idea of all manner of helpful things like how quickly the stories in this type of book progress and how long each chapter should be.

8: Try not to leave your manuscript for long periods, if you really want to finish it it’s important to be immersed in your work. If you go on holiday, you can always scribble down a few scenes by the pool!

9: Get feedback from someone you trust and respect, ideally another writer in your genre. If you’re heading in the wrong direction hopefully their advice will get you back on track.

10: And finally, there’s nothing wrong with a little reward for some good work. It’s amazing how quickly my daily word target is completed if I’m promised a KitKat at the end of it!

Right, I’m off to take some of my own advice now! 1000 words here I come!

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