Go in With a Plan


We’ve discussed plotting and pantsing before, but this post is a little more than that.  When you’re an indie author, I think it’s important to set your own goals and deadlines. I think you need to develop a loose sort of plan when you start a new project. Know what you’re going to write about, have an idea for an ending at least if you’re not plotting, pick a time you’d like to be finished by, know who you’re going to ask to beta for you, etc. Plans might change along the way, but that’s okay!

Some structure is not going to kill your organic free-flowing writing style.  It will give you something to work towards and an additional reason to write as often as you can (if not daily). Maybe there’s a contest you want to enter your novel into.  Maybe you set up a blog tour or sign up for a blog hop that will require you to be done by a certain time.  These things will push you to get to the end.

Our traditionally published brethren all work under deadlines and there’s no reason why we can’t as well. It can even be in the form of a pushy friend who is excited to read your stuff.  When I was writing Tears of a Clown, I was posting it on Facebook in chapter long installments as I went.  I had a couple of friends (my awesome writing buddy included) who would read and comment on each post and it really prompted me to move forward. Sometimes we just need a little nudge or need to know people are enjoying what we have so far.

Go ahead and set a completion date.  Reward yourself for mini-goals if need be.  Go into it with a plan and get it done.

How do you prompt yourself to finish a project?


6 responses »

    • Same here. When I know people are waiting I tend to want to finish…so long as life isn’t horribly busy like it’s been lately.

  1. Interestingly, I just posted my self-imposed goal to finish the book I just barely started (only 6 pages in) but now I have the story in my head and on paper in note forms so have a more realistical goal of achieving completion. Sometimes we all need these little reminders that even if you aren’t a plotter, you do need to self-impose deadlines and stick with them as best you can. E 🙂

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of Finally Home, a Kelly Watson, middle grade/YA mystery

    • Agreed! I feel that leaving things so open ended means you might not have the drive to ever finish…but of course it’s different for everyone.

  2. I have writing buddies who I exchange scenes/chapter/shorts with. We keep each other on track. When it’s been a while, we make contact. WHERE’S THE NEXT CHAPTER, WOMAN? I’m waiting! 🙂 It really keeps things going.

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