So you’ve finally finished the first draft of your novel . . . congratulations! That’s an amazing accomplishment.
But you also know the real work has only begun. Before your send your opus into the world, it must look and feel as good as anything you’d find in a book store, including cover design and layout and, of course, a polished and awesome story.
Let’s focus on polishing the story today with a look at editing.
The Editing Problem
For most writers, myself included, self-publishing is the way to go. But we don’t want to put more garbage out into the world. You know what I’m talking about . . . buddy thinks he’ll write a story, which he does, and then vomits it all over Amazon for the world to see, warts and all.
If you’re going to spend the time and effort writing a novel – and hopefully a good one – then you owe it to yourself to make it look as professional as possible. This means a solid edit.
But, the cost of editing can be tremendous. Suppose you’ve written a 75k word novel. For a run of the mill copy edit – assuming that you’ve followed a well-structured plotting system so you know the story works – you could pay as much as $0.05 per word. That’s a cool $3,750. Even a final proofread to catch any remaining typos will cost $750.
I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll never, ever recoup that money from book sales because, honestly, very few self-published authors ever sell more than a hundred books. Ever. At a couple bucks of royalties per book, you do the math and it looks grim.
Still, though, your story needs editing. You don’t want to hold your nose and contribute to the barf on Amazon, do you?
The Editing Solution
Many a novelist believes the solution to this costly, but necessary, service is to self-edit. Maybe pick up a piece of software or read a couple of books on it. That will help. But you also need to check your mindset. When you’re writing, you’re in creative mode. As an editor, you need to put a skeptical scowl on your countenance and slay all those pretty words of yours.
Not everyone can edit their own work.
I can to a point, but then I need outside help for all my blind spots.
Still, you can get about 80% of the manuscript problems fixed on your own, saving you a ton of money in the process.
Here’s how . . .
The 3-Step System (with 2 bonus steps)
With your finished draft in hand, you’re going to do three revising passes through it, focusing on What, Why, and How.
Let’s look at each one.
1. What Happens
In this pass, you’re going to focus on the story and what happens. This isn’t the time to get cute by throwing in all those Big Themes that might please your high school English teacher: focus on making sure the story is coherent. It flows logically, the action is appropriate. Fill in any missing gaps. Fix the chapter transitions. Make your story flow.
As you do this, when you notice typos, fix them up along the way. You’ll miss a bunch, I guarantee you that, but it’ll be a start.
2. Why It Happens
In the second revision pass, you’re now going to focus on the characters and their motivations to really understand why they behave the way they do. This will ensure consistency, which is super important if you plan to keep your readers engaged (which we want, just to be clear).
Your Main Characters
When I talk about “main” characters, I’m talking about your viewpoint characters (if you’ve taken a workshop with me, you’ll understand that . . . if not, these are your protagonist, antagonist, and a confidant or romantic interest or some other primary character in your story).
So make sure the good guys are likeable and the villains are nasty. For even more effect, give your hero flaws and vulnerability, make her take some bad decisions. Readers need to feel sympathy for them. Also, give your antagonist some good traits. Make him real. Sure, he might have murdered Don Fanucci in cold blood, but just because he did, Vito Corleone loves his kids a ton (can you tell I just watched the Godfather II?).
Followers of the Snowflake method of plotting get this, but all writers should have a thorough understanding of what makes their characters do what they do.
Characters are motivated by two things primarily: a concrete goal (that is, the story goal) and an abstract goal. So for example, your hero might have a burning desire to solve a murder (concrete goal) because it speaks to their sense of justice in the world (abstract goal).
Look at your viewpoint / main characters and ask yourself what motivates them. Then, as you go through this revising pass, keep those motivations in mind when your characters act and make decisions and generally do stuff. They need to be consistent or else your reader will scratch her head and wonder wtf . . .? Why did Sally do that? It should be clear.
3. How It Happens
Now we’re getting close to the next end (you’ll discover, if you haven’t already, there are may “ends” in the writing process).
In this third revision, you want to add in some of the colour to your prose. Things like describing your settings in each section or chapter, what your characters are wearing, what the weather’s like, and so on. Be careful: this is not an invitation to give each character a laundry list of descriptors. You know what I mean: Sally stared the killer down. She wore a blue smock with white socks and gray shoes, a black ribbon in her hair, and a pendant that said “Bite me” in bold lettering.
Don’t do that.
Drip your descriptions in.
What you’re looking for are those small things that help the reader engage. Like one of my baddies who has a penchant for dandelion tea. Think about the old Law & Order shows. Whenever the cops went to interview a person of interest, that person was always doing something: mowing the grass, fixing a car, cleaning the house. Those are the little details that readers love and that keep them engaged.
But wait . . . there’s more!
Two bonus revision passes!
4. Chapter Openings and Closings
If you follow a proven plotting method like our Plotting Roadmap, you’ll see that all sections (which later become chapters) open by hooking and orienting the reader. The endings leave the reader having to keep going to find out what happens (does Sally kill the killer? Does she die?)
So in this pass, you’re focusing on the openings and closings of your chapters. You need to keep your reader hooked. Don’t let them put your book down!
5. One Last Proofread
All the while, as you’ve been going through your drafts, you’ve encountered typos and fixed them. Now you get to do it one more time. So put your manuscript away for a few days, and then read it through again. Don’t fiddle with it anymore, just focus on typos and consistency in your writing.
For example, if you write “six o’clock in the morning” one place and “6 am” in another, it might just be enough to kick your reader out of the floe. Be consistent.
And now, you’re ready to publish, yes?
Now you’re ready to pass your manuscript off to your beta readers with a list of broad questions so you can make sure you didn’t miss anything big.
By following these steps, and a proven story structure, you will eliminate the need for extensive editing completely and save yourself thousands of dollars.
M.C.R. Marshall wrote and published his first novel Delphi's Shadow, an action-packed and thoughtful science fiction story. Here's my interview with Mike...
Where did the idea for Delphi’s Shadow come from?
I had a completely different idea for my first novel. Started developing it and everything. Then about two weeks into the first write your first novel course someone (might have been David in fact) posted a link in the Ottawa Writers Workshop FaceBook page about the Hubble telescope detecting a pitch-black planet. Hmm what could they be hiding? I thought. And off I went.
Delphi’s Shadow is a ‘hard’ sci-fi story, meaning that I try to ground it as much as possible in realistic science and logic, as opposed to something like Star Wars which is closer to fantasy. There was a lot of influence from the Expanse book series and Charles Sheffield’s Cold as Ice series, as well as Ian Banks (especially the names of the ships).
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing Delphi’s Shadow?
This was my first attempt at approaching novel writing in a structured way. I had the usual misgivings about structure somehow destroying the art of the writing, but once I understood it as a process that teaches you the fundamentals, rather than some sort of restrictive set of rules, I was good to go. Although I got into a real mess because I used cue cards to map out my structure rather than a Word document, and I ended up turning them into such a scribbly mess that I couldn’t understand what I’d written and had to redo the whole thing.
As it is with a lot of people, getting the space to write was a big challenge. I have a busy job that demands a lot of brain energy, I’ve got kids, I’ve got chores around the house, I have friends and hobbies and I like to stay in shape and all sorts of things that take up my time. So I had to make room by giving things up. For me that was Netflix. That hour I’d spend watching a series, I recommitted to writing.
Another thing I noticed was that about halfway through the novel I felt as if I’d leveled up as a writer. I’d hit 50k words and suddenly I was putting better sentences together, I was showing and not telling, I was getting comfortable with pacing and foreshadowing and reigning in my overdependence on passive verbs. Which was great, but also discouraging because I realized I had to do something with the first half of my novel to raise it up. I spent a lot of time rewriting entire sections and I still don’t know if it made that much of a difference. I think this is a dilemma that most first time novelists may face one way or another.
Finally the editing almost killed me. Seriously. I think I spent just as long editing as I did writing. Some people love editing. I don’t know what planet they’re from, but for me it was like pulling teeth.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
Definitely a plotter. I have to know where I’m going at least in broad terms. I think of it like planning a long journey. I start out with where I want to go, I have a good idea of how I’m going to get there, but I’m completely open to changing it up along the way if something interesting comes up. If I look back on my original plot outline and compare it to the final manuscript, there are big deviations. But the initial outline allowed me to think about how this was going to change the story and keep me from the dreaded writing myself into a corner trap.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I read a lot, as most writers do, which shows me how other authors have approached all the technical aspects of writing, how they create stories and engaging characters (or not - which is just as valuable). I’m constantly following up interesting articles and blogs, which is where I get my concept ideas. I particularly enjoy science and futurism blogs like Isaac Arthur’s Youtube channel. I also do a lot of people watching, because at the heart of any good story there are interesting people. All of my characters are made up of bits and pieces of people I know or even just passed on the street one day.
Now that your first novel is out, can you tell us what’s next in your writing agenda?
Delphi’s Shadow was set up as the first in a trilogy. But my next project was going to be totally different, because I wanted to experiment with something new. I’d plotted the new book and started in on the first sections. But I was having difficulty getting into it and I found myself drawn back to the story I started with Delphi’s Shadow. So I’ve given in and I’m plotting out the sequel, tentatively titled Delphi’s Remains.
Do you have any tips for writers who want to write their first novel?
Obviously I’m a big believer in making a plan and a plot, which was key to me getting the work done. But at the end of the day the most important thing is this: Write. Write. Write. It’s the only way you’ll get good at it and the only way you’ll finish that story. Make it a priority. Tell people that this is important to you so that they can help you claim the space to do it. Make it the thing you reward yourself with. Make it more important than that exciting new show on Netflix.
Today, I’d like to share with you the top 10 most common fiction writing mistakes. These were compiled by Danny Mancini at ProwritingAid, but I can tell you, they certainly ring true for me. I was most susceptible to number 3 when I tackled my first novel (the One that Shall Never See The Light Of Day). I've taken Danny's list and added my own thoughts :)
1. Poor handling of dialogue
Your dialogue must sound realistic. Try reading it out loud and letting your ears tell you whether it sounds real or not.
2. Unrealistic characters
No one is 100% Evil or Good. Make your characters – even the non-human ones – more realistic by giving them both good and bad personality traits.
3. Unlikable characters
This was my biggie back in the day. Your lead character – the hero – must be likable. If your reader doesn’t like her, she won’t care about her, and that is the end of her reading engagement. An unlikable lead is the kiss of death.
No plot twists? Predictable dialogue? That’s a big bag of yawns. Surprise your reader. Make him think “I did NOT see that coming!”
5. Use of clichés
Again, boring, tired, over-used. The only time clichés can work is in dialogue. If that’s the way your character speaks, then speak on!
6. Lack of pacing
Pacing in a novel is extremely difficult if you’re writing by the seat of your pants. Writers in my workshops understand that the Plotting Roadmap we use builds pacing right into it. Takes the guesswork away.
7. No sense of setting
This doesn’t mean you need to spend pages and pages describing the landscape (please don’t do that), but you must orient your reader frequently so they’re not left wondering where they are.
8. Lack of conflict
Another kiss of death. Remember, tension = what could happen, and conflict = what does happen. Make sure you have lots of both to keep your reader interested.
9. Editing as you go
Don’t do this. You’re giving in to the Lizard Brain when you start saying to yourself, “Oh, I can fix this up,” or worse, “Oh, this is garbage, I better fix it up.” There’s lots of time to edit after you’ve finished your draft.
10. Jumping on the genre bandwagon
You’ve heard the old adage “write what you know”? In this case, write a story in the genre you know. If high fantasy is your thing, then trying to write a hallmark romance because they sell the most will come back to bite you. You can’t fool readers. They know a genre fraud when they see one, so stick with the genre you understand the most.
One of the common challenges I encounter with many workshop writers and coaching clients is how their characters are motivated. This is a problem for me too in my own writing, make no mistake. It isn't good enough to have them do random stuff willy-nilly.
This is one of those things that's easily missed or ignored, yet critical for bringing characters to life.
What makes your characters do what they do?
When developing your primary characters - protagonist, antagonist, and other major characters - spend a few minutes considering these two questions:
1. What does your character want in an abstract way?
This could be something like self-esteem, love, power, justice, world domination... the idea is there's a fundamental motivator that's part of your character's core being, and this is what drives them in their decision-making.
But abstractions only tell us about our character's core... we still need to understand the character's goal and that brings us to the next question:
2. What does your character want in a concrete way?
This is their story goal, and it must be concrete or else the character and the story start faltering like a wonky donkey. For example, your hero's goal may be something concrete like rescuing the princess, or you're winning the big game, or solving the murder, or marrying the town's only doctor. Those are concrete story goals.
Pulling it together
Once you've clarified what your characters' goals are, then use their abstract motivations to guide their behaviour. If your character wants to save the princess (concrete) but he's motivated by power and lust (abstract), the story is a whole lot different than if he was motivated by love and justice.
See, it's super important to know at all times what both motivators are for your characters. Keeping these in mind will remove a lot of the ambiguity from the characters' actions, and will bring a lot more coherence to your plot.
1. There are already too many novels out there… why does the world need more? Specifically, why does the world need YOUR story? And what's up with writing a book anyway? These days, more people are noodling around on TikTok or making other videos than they are writing or reading. If you're thinking of writing a novel, it pays to really look at the fundamental reasons for doing so. "Because it would be cool" may not be enough of a reason.
2. Anyone can write a novel, and many do. There’s nothing special about it once you learn how, other than having the discipline to actually write every day. I talk about this frequently in my workshops and courses. Like, a lot! The greatest skill a writer can have is the discipline to sit down and write every day. That is more important than talent (we can all develop what God has given us) or skill (like any skill, we can learn), or innate creativity (we're all born with this too). But, not everyone has the resilience to actually sit down and write.
As a result, anyone from any walk of life can write a novel. You don't need to go to school to "become" a writer. Just write. I'm all for that, but it also means there's really nothing special about what we do, is there?
3. Writing a novel won’t make you rich. You have a better chance of winning a lottery than you do in making any significant coin from a novel. If self-publishing costs anywhere from a few thousand dollars and up, this can be an expensive hobby. You will never recover your costs in time or money from book sales. So please, if you have dreams of being a famous author, doing the talk shows and signing books all day, remember: the vast majority of novelists never sell more than a couple dozen books. That may be difficult to understand and yes, you may argue that someone must win the lottery and "why not me?", but the hard truth is if you're writing a novel to get rich, you won't.
4. No guarantee of fame either. Other than the chosen darlings, most novelists spend their writing careers in anonymity, working menial jobs to pay their rent, living on Mr. Noodles and hoping to get picked by HBO or Random House and then life will be sunshine and rainbows. Truth #1: you and I won't get rich writing novels. Truth #2: we won't get famous by writing novels either.
5. Writing a novel doesn’t bring immortality. Hemingway may have been right when he said that if you want to be immortal, you need to write a book (or plant a tree or have a kid), but today? Hardly. When anyone can post videos of their butts on TikTok for free, immortality is cheap. Writing a novel is an awfully hard way to do it when your iPhone is sitting right there.
6. Writing novels doesn’t really flatter the ego. Oh maybe for a few weeks once you’ve finished and published it, but then what? You read it again and find all kinds of things you’d like to change and that one crappy rating on Goodreads or Amazon is enough to send you around the bend and become a monk. Not fun. More like self-torture. There's a medical term for that. Why bother when the world seems more interested in the number of likes you get on an Instagram post rather than the number of people who actually read your book.
7. All that time and effort spent in isolation, ...wrestling with word choices and syntax and structure and stealing other writers’s ideas… even introverts can only take so much of that. And for what? So you can sell a few copies of your book to family and friends. And never mind the cost of doing it right. From opportunity cost, to the real costs of getting an editor, a professional cover and layout, coaching and courses and other skill-building activities, and novel writing becomes a very expensive hobby.
Wow, that's pretty doomy and gloomy for me today, isn't it?
And yet... we write!
One really good reason TO write a novel
Yes, we still write. We still want to put in the effort to create a story from a bunch of squiggles on the page. Why? Because fundamentally, your story is one of possibility. If you write fiction, you’re writing about things that could happen, or could have happened. Why is this important? Because it offers hope. When you read a novel, you’re learning how others act and react in situations that you could find yourself one day. Perhaps you’ll learn something about how they deal with conflict and fear. Perhaps that guy marooned on Mars can show us what resourcefulness and resilience is all about, even when we know we’ll never be in that situation.
Hope. Possibility. Sharing your story. Despite all the reasons for not writing a novel, this is why hundreds of thousands continue to do so every year. So now I ask: why not you, too?
“Just throw strikes, buddy!”
When I think back to the days when my son played little league ball, there were many times when a pitcher stood there on the bump, chucking pitches in to the batter, and missing the strike zone by a mile. For any parent who has witnessed kids’ sports, you understand the pain of living through those days when they’re learning the game.
One particular instance found me watching a game, and the pitcher couldn’t find the strike zone. The well-intentioned coach shouted encouragement from the dugout. “Just throw strikes, there bud!” I wondered if the pitcher, in his frustration, said to himself, “Ohhh, so that’s what I should be doing. Who knew I was supposed to throw strikes?”
How does this apply to writing?
Q: How do I make my characters better?
Pat A: Well, just make them remarkable!
Great advice . . . not.
So let’s roll up our sleeves and get into the practical mechanics of creating a compelling character. If you’re going to do this well, you need to study those characters – literary and on TV – that really appeal to you. No longer can you be a passive member of the audience.
In my travels, there are consistently 4 things that keep arising with the characters I truly enjoy:
1. A compelling story goal.
This is why in the Write Your First Novel Now! Course, I emphasize the need to have a huge story goal for our protagonist. If it’s not big, seemingly unachievable, then our character would likely shrug their shoulders and say “meh”. The goal drives motivation which drives behaviour. Make the goal large.
2. A secret.
What’s a hero without some dark secret? This is the juice that we love to see. Give your characters one. All of them. Think about your own: stealing, betrayal, cheating, lying etc. What have you buried from your past? Go there.
3. The contradiction.
Oh, we love our characters to be consistent, and they should be for the most part. But we also love the contradictory nature of their characters. Doc Martin is a physician who faints at the sight of blood. Consider the anti-heroes like Batman. He’s as messed up as Joker . . . Perhaps if your protagonist always does the right thing in certain situations, put him in one where doing the right thing results in chaos and anarchy, and see what he does.
4. Make her vulnerable.
I stress this in all my workshops. Your protagonist cannot be larger than life if you want you readers to relate to her. I mean, even Superman has his kryptonite. Think about the heroes who appeal to you. Study them, and you’ll quickly see they have vulnerabilities that make them compelling. Do this.
You may think these four traits are necessary only for your protagonist, but in a novel, you can and should use these for all your principle characters: protagonist, opposition, confidante, romantic interest. If you follow this, your characters will jump off the page.
I see this all the time. A writer pours tons of time and effort into creating a wonderful story. They’ve taken their time to edit it, create an amazing cover, and tested it with beta readers. Now to send that baby out into the world.
The manuscript gets loaded into Amazon; they press the “publish” button and wait for the world to start buying the book.
The secret to selling more books
Maybe you’ve experienced this, too. So what happened? You know you’ve got a decent story, and you followed all the cover design principles. It’s not like you’re putting utter rubbish into the world like so many other self-published authors, but the only sales you got are from your mom and maybe a couple of friends.
But herein lies a clue.
The idea that if you build it, they will come might work for baseball diamonds in a corn field, but it doesn’t work in real life. Just because you wrote a great story doesn’t mean that people will find it or care about it. It’s up to you to switch hats from writer to marketer.
Hang on a sec, I’m not suggesting you do what some writers do and send out 50 tweets a day with a link to your book, or flood your IG or FB account with self-promoting begging of “Buy my book . . .please!” That has never worked.
The most effective way to sell more books is to find more people who like you, so they’ll want to buy your book without being bludgeoned with cheesy pleas.
This truly is the secret to selling more books: build a list of people who like you, who know you like your friends and family do, so they’ll want to support you.
Marketing your book
The basic idea is this: you build an email list of people who might be interested in your story. Then, you tell them about yourself over a series of emails and time so they get to know you. Then, and only then, you tell them about your book. This is not about selling (i.e. begging). This is about building relationships with people through email so they’ll want to buy your book.
Everyone knows about 100 people, right? You already have those emails on your computer, but now you’ll want to 10X that number in order to sell more books. I’m going to assume that you don’t have a huge blog site or anything like that, so how do you attract these new people?
The way I’ve done it in the past is through a giveaway. There are apps out there that’ll help you set one up for free, then you drive targeted traffic to it, collect their emails, and start your relationship.
Kingsumo.com is one such giveaway application.
I use Facebook ads to target people to my giveaway and to attract only those who might be interested in reading the kind of story I’ve written.
Once you have a big list, your next step is to help them get to know you. Put together a string of emails introducing yourself, what you do (writer), what you like, things you can teach, and so on. Give your new audience a chance to get to know you and like you.
Do this for a couple of months. This’ll give you a chance to weed out those who really aren’t interested, and to focus on those who have warmed up to you. One of the things you can do is give them a free chapter of your book to show them your style.
And then, you can let them know about your book for sale on Amazon and invite them to support you.
This will not sell you thousands of books overnight. This is a slow, intentional, deliberate process. But it does work. Keep on doing this, that is, building your list and a relationship with your followers, and you will sell switch those crickets to rounds of applause.
Today I want to look at character motivations, specifically the six key things you must do before writing your novel.
In any good story, your main character is driven by the pursuit of some overarching goal, for example, to solve the crime, win the race, or rescue the princess. These story arcs are critical to your plot, to build tension, and to spin your readers a good yarn.
But what motivates them, and why is this important for you as a writer to give some thought to? Ready to go? Let's get into it!
We’re going to consider 6 things that you should do when you’re outlining or plotting your story, before you ever write a single word of your story. This will guide you and keep you on track once you are in the writing phase of your story, so you’ll never have to second guess yourself and write yourself into a corner.
1. The One Sentence Summary
First, write a one-sentence summary of your character’s storyline. Don’t overthink it. This is as simple as going on a quest to rescue the princess so I can get my swamp back. Simple simple.
2. The Key Motivation (Abstract)
Second, describe your character’s key motivation, that is, what your character wants in an abstract way. Again, don’t overthink it. This could be justice for all, true love, to find peace and joy in a meaningless world. These are all abstract things, but they speak to what drives your character.
3. The Key Motivation (Concrete)
Third, describe your character’s overall story goal . . . what she wants in a concrete, real way. This is stuff like: get my swamp back, kill the bug eyed aliens, save the earth, stop the empire from blowing up planets.
Fourth, you now need to look at conflict. What’s stopping your character from achieving that goal? There’s likely a bunch of things, but for this exercise, focus on the major one: a nasty, fire-breathing, human-eating dragon, Darth Vader, Joker, the evil CEO
5. The Epiphany
Fifth, in the pursuit of their story goal, your character is going to undergo some kind of change, some epiphany that informs their actions. So how will your character change? What will she learn? What will he find? Perhaps it’s courage, perhaps it’s a realization that Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Write this down.
6. The Storyline Summary
And finally, number 6, wrap up all these things in a one-paragraph summary of your character’s storyline. Again, don’t overthink it. There’s no need to write an essay on what motivates your character, just pull all those first 5 things together in a summary. Refer to this as your writing, and you’ll stay on track.
Do this for all your major characters, your protagonist, atagonist, confidant, romantic interest . . . they all want something, and they all have reasons for taking action.
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Today I want to talk about the one obstacle to writing that my workshop writers consistently identify as the biggest problem facing them. Any guess what it might be? You might think it’s fear, and that’s definitely up there. We’re afraid of all kinds of things when it comes to writing: being judged, thinking we’re not good enough, talented enough . . . actually, any number of things.
No Time to Write
But the one obstacle to writing that most students point to is the lack of time. Now I get that. We’re all busy with our lives, our jobs, families, kids . . . there’s no shortage of things getting in the way of our writing.
And because we typically view writing as an indulgence, that is, something that’s not very important, it’s easy to drop it from the to-do list, isn’t it?
When that happens, all our commitments to finally writing that novel this year, or finally getting to those short story ideas we promised ourselves . . . disappear. And here we are a short time later wondering what happened?
Two Tips To Find More Time To Write
So, yeah, the biggest challenge to writing isn’t talent or knowledge. It’s not about whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran. It has everything to do with finding the time to sit down and write. Now, it makes sense then, that if we can overcome this lack of time, perhaps we could make the time to get our writing done.
That might mean turning off the Netflix for an hour every second night. Instead of binge-watching, how about organizing a binge-writing session with your friends. Here’s another thing you can do to make time to write. Get up half an hour earlier a few times a week, and use that extra 30 minutes to write. Many of us find this to be a powerful writing strategy.
I’m reminded of the Billy Crystal character in the movie Throw Momma From The Train. Very funny movie by the way. Anyway, he’s writing teacher and he tells his students all the time that a writer writes, always. So here’s something you can do right after this video. Take a few minutes and really think about everything you do during the day. Are there times where you can find a few minutes here, a few minutes there where you can write? Is there something you can give up for a few months while you work on your novel? Now, make a commitment to write more in the next week and see how it goes. Then do it for another week. And then another. Before you know it, you’ll be cranking out the words like a pro.