I’m finally sitting down to write a novel that’s been sitting in my head for about 8 years now. While doing some free writing for it, I came up with some tips on how to successfully complete my draft. The tips are unpolished but other writers might find some nuggets of wisdom (or not) in its crude state, so I’m sharing it here anyway:
1. Deal with your fear of rejection. By dealing with it, I meant suck it up and get to work. We don’t have a lot of time to go psychoanalyzing your childhood.
2. Be honest with yourself. You don’t want to be who you are perceived to be. You want to be you. And let’s face it, you only want to be a writer. Writers write, so write.
3. Discipline yourself to work at specific times. Does this need explanation? Yes? You, laptop (or pen and paper), here, now, write.
4. Keep an objective distance from your own life when writing. The protagonist (or other characters, for that matter), while he/she may be based on you (or someone you know), isn’t you (or someone you know). Write him/her into a believable person who pops out of a page. This isn’t your diary.
5. Embrace conflicts. Conflicts are the stuff that animate any fiction. Or life, for that matter. They are what will push you to finish your novel, because, damn it, we can’t leave anyone hanging like that. Remember Fifty Shades of Grey? She keeps on coming, never left hanging. Oh, good example of a bad example? Right.