{Author’s Corner} Overcoming a Short Attention Span

I’ve had a few people ask me lately how I can write a novel so fast.  It isn’t without a great deal of effort since I have the attention span of a gnat, or so I’ve been told.  🙂

My attention issue is why I need to write fast before I lose interest.  And as for the how, it’s quite a simple technique, actually.

For me, the biggest stress and time suck of writing–being the total pantser I am–is figuring out how I’m going to link all of these scenes I have floating around in my head.  Because that’s my biggest worry, it’s the part I have to get out on paper first, bare bones, unadorned, a basic skeleton structure of the story.

My first drafts often have nothing but simple action and dialogue.  I don’t stop to worry about scenery or what a character looks like or much of the backstory.  I forget about timing issues and continuity.  Those will all get worked out in the editing once I’ve sorted the scenes into a workable order.

I write half of the story like this before going back to add flesh and color to the scenes, descriptions, character building hints and interactions, beats to add flow and movement to the dialogue.  I do this to gauge how many words I have left until reaching my goal word count before continuing the skeleton until the end of the story.

I’ve pumped out a first draft in as little as seventeen days.  It was as bare as it could be, but it took the stress away, of what would happen next, and left me free to explore the scenes one by one to add the layers that give it life.  The editing goes much faster as a result, too, because I can turn off the part of my brain that searches ahead for the next plot turn and switch on my creative side.

This may not work for everyone.  I know some authors who don’t leave a scene and go on to the next until it’s polished to perfection, and that’s great.  If you have the patience for that, power to you.  For those who are impatient like me and need to know how the story will turn out, my method might just carry you through the chapters until you reach THE END.

How do you write?  I’d love to hear your tricks. 

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3 thoughts on “{Author’s Corner} Overcoming a Short Attention Span

  1. Panster to the core! Itry to get it all out before going back to flesh it out. Otherwise, I lose it. Then I have a notepad to write down the little plot twists I add to make sure I don’t screw it up along the way. I have lots of notebooks with twists I never ended up using for a particular novel because it didn’t work.

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