23

Why to abandon an idea In considering the question of whether or not you should write an idea you don’t like, my instinct would be no. If you don’t like it, it will show in the writing. If you are bored writing it, you can guarantee that your reader will be bored reading it. How excited you are by a project always comes across on the page. Why to press on ...


20

There are two concepts in git that can help: branches and tags. Tags. Think of a tag as a name for a specific revision. Any time you want to remember a version, create a tag for it. For example, when you finish a draft, you can tag it like this: git tag first_draft When to use tags. Tags are good for marking any version that you might want to remember ...


18

I have a full time job and small children, so I feel your pain. There are a combination of things that keep me writing: Break the seal: Commit to some very minimal amount of daily writing (for example 15 minutes or half a page). It's easier to force yourself to do something that small. Once you are doing that consistently, it will be easier to work your ...


12

For established writers, consistency is important. For new writers, just writing is. The biggest problem, as you say is prioritising the time in order to actually write rather than do other things. I, myself often say that I'll write in my lunch hours but by the time I've had my food, checked Twitter and done a bit of browsing, I only leave myself 20 ...


11

This is about personal organisation - actually nothing to do with writing per se, but it does, I understand, affect writing significantly. I would suggest that you identify the urgency of your various projects, or - if you have no deadlines - the closeness to completion. Then work on the most urgent or nearest complete. Work on it until you have completed ...


11

There are plotters, and discovery writers. You sound like a plotter. There's nothing wrong with that. Take the time you need to outline your story so you feel comfortable with it, and additionally accept that things will change as you go. There are many different methods to creating a plot, and none of them are wrong; you just have to figure out what works ...


11

As everybody else says, all options are viable. You can start from a scene that's bright in your mind and write to it and from it, you can throw scenes on paper and then connect them, you can start from the end and then write towards it. For every writer, a different approach works. So, listen to advice, but above all be guided by your own instinct, by what ...


11

It's often a good idea to note your ideas down the moment you have them and then look at them at a later point. This makes sure that you have an interest in it that lasts long enough to actually get something done and you can change some of the biggest things. Most stories are re-written / edited quite a few times before they are released. If you just can'...


10

I mix both techniques of habit, I can write in my lunch hour and get a good forty minutes in but then if I have ten minutes before work in the morning it's incredible how those sprints stack up. It's the same theory as those bank accounts that round up spends by diverting the difference into a savings account. The advantage of it is that you get a good ...


8

The priority of a writer is to get stuff written and in a shape where it can be read by others. (Assumedly, submitted, sold, to agents/editors, etc.) Your goal is to get stuff written. (Whether quality or timeliness is your primary goal is something you'll have to work out for yourself.) The advice below is fairly production-driven and deadline-oriented. ...


8

I start on Page 1, Line 1, Word 1: The main character's name. If you know this much about the characters, the first scene introduces the main character and her status-quo world. You have 5% to 10% of the story to let your readers get to know her, how she lives her life, deals with problems, deals with other people, and what she wants out of life. The first ...


8

There is a natural tendency in writing to get into flow and allow words to just start falling. It's actually quite good. But, as you said, when you are attempting to write in a focused manner it can create a problem. I believe there are two helpful things to do in this case. Create a list of scenes with expected goals Write like a news reporter Create ...


7

This is a close duplicate of Does DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself) Apply to Documentation? My short answer is do what's right for the user, not yourself. That's probably repeating the code, especially if there's extra or modified steps included. You'll lose the user along the way. My long answer is that this is a also a good case of writers needing to push back ...


7

That's a really interesting question. What springs into my mind is wondering why you think it would be interesting to you as a writer, if not as a reader? I'd like to hear more on this, maybe with some examples. If not you, then who? Based on the information available, I'd agree with some of the other answers, that if it doesn't appeal to you as a reader,...


6

I don't think there is an official set of names, and worse, there are pieces that have conflicting meanings. A "Book" is used as the whole story, as a volume or as a part. A "Part" is either A book in the series or A subsection within book. Let me try to put it in order but take into account this is by no means ultimate or a law. Series/Franchise/World/...


6

Just to play devil's advocate a little bit, I think a case can definitely be made for not using a software version control tool in writing. As a writer who also works in the software development industry, I have some pet theories about this, though I am still experimenting myself. In 1967, a computer programmer called Melvin Conway coined what has become ...


6

EDIT (16 Oct 2017): A lot has changed in the last 3 years. Plotist now offers worldbuilding and writing tools, including a timeline and an outliner to help organize the writing, and it supports real-time collaboration so you can work with others creating your world and stories. We now offer Plotist as a subscription service, but we still have a free ...


6

The greatest challenge for new writers is not poor word choice or clumsy sentence construction. First drafts don't die in obscurity from wordiness or inconsistent voice. The great killer of fledgling writing is... failure to finish. With all due respect for your inner muses and inner critics and for the important roles which they play during the editing ...


6

WinMerge can help you manually merge documents. It can compare two text documents, highlight similar lines and lines that are slightly different and it allows you to quickly choose which version to keep on a line by line basis. If you want to automate this process and also keep history and be able to switch between different versions and choose what to ...


6

Let me second what @ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere says, and elaborate. Fiddling with a setting is an endless task: you can delve into sociology, millennia of history, technology, geography, geology - all the endless scientific endeavour thousands of RL scientists are trying to figure out with our real, existing world. You can easily keep building your world for ...


6

One thing to keep in mind is that your setting bible is an internal document. Your players (or readers or viewers or audience) will never see it. As a result, the moment you spend a single second working on improving your bible that doesn't result in saving at least a second's worth of work later on, you've started wasting your time. Your players will notice ...


5

I love Scrivener for this kind of thing. You can put each thought onto an individual page, and then drag them around as you see fit. It even has a virtual corkboard screen so you can see many individual notes at a glance.


5

I do the same as you: I balance working a full time job, family and professional writing. Except I write freelance journalism rather than books. I imagine that does make my life a bit simpler because it's easier to dip in and out of short-form writing, plus I get a stead stream of commission payments as motivation. I do the majority of my writing in lunch ...


5

Everyone needs time to relax. Sometimes life is so busy that we don't take the time to relax and we get burned out. However, most people don't live their entire lives in that manner. Many people claim that they don't have time to do X, Y, or Z but when you sit down with them you find that they watch 1-2 hours of TV every night, play golf every Saturday ...


5

If you like the way Wikipedia is organized with respect to the information of the real world and you'd like something akin to that for your world (even if you choose to restrict it to characters only), you'll be happy to know that you can use their software, MediaWiki. To use it, you only need to set up a local HTTP server that supports PHP (with programs ...


5

What you just described is almost every Web based REST API. Those are nothing more than a series of calls, sometimes into the hundreds or thousands, that the developer has to put into a meaningful sequence. This also goes for client-based APIs, too. The answer is tedious but not complex. First, every call has to be documented individually. Developers have ...


5

Short answer: all three options work, so experiment. James Scott Bell wrote a whole book on how to write from the middle. I haven't read it yet, so I don't know how good the reasons are for doing so, but presumably it's feasible if you know what you're doing. (Of course, you might only do so if you read his book!) I always write from the start, but you can ...


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