|Remove Fear Factor & Let Those Fingers Fly|
I don't care if you do like to fly by the seat of your pants when writing, you have to know a few things in order to continue to write. Otherwise, you end up staring at a blank page or, in actuality, a blank monitor screen.
Even if you're a pantser or a newbie who doesn't know "how to write a book," draw up a simple roadmap. That's less intimidating than thinking you have to make an outline of the entire book. Without a roadmap, you may well sit in front of the computer, lift your hands to the keyboard, and...nothing happens. You're blank. Your mind is as clean as a wiped slate.
Create Your Map
Many writers get intimidated when they think about writing 75,000 words to create a novel. They hear they should outline each chapter, but they get discouraged just thinking about the enormity of what must be included: characterization, scene and sequel, motivation, conflict, theme, etc.
Take the intimidation factor away. Stop thinking about all of that and just sit down with a piece of paper and think of the book as a vacation you're about to take with stops along the way to see the sights.
At the beginning of your trip (your book), you just need to look at the big picture of a trip from your hometown, to the big destination, and back to your familiar world again.
Write these words: "This story is about..." Write down what you think the book is about. You know this, or you wouldn't feel the itch to tell this story. The short paragraph you write will keep you tightly focused on the actual story.
On any journey, there are planned stops to see the sights or just to rest--waypoints between your hometown and your destination. These waypoints are, of course, the chapters in your story.
Write these words: "This part of the story is about..." In your own words, just say what happens in this small part of the story.
That's what you do for each waypoint (chapter) in your journey (book). Using this technique takes the pressure off and removes the intimidation factor. Get the words down. That gets the book finished. Then you can go back and make the words shine.
Do you think this technique removes the fear factor from writing--whether you're writing a blog post or a book? Leave a comment with your email address and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my romantic comedies.