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James Barclay
February 6th, 2006, 10:05 AM
OK, just for Holbrook (and for anyone else who might find this useful) this is a method of keeping up your momentum and continuity. It was given to me by David Gemmell and, having tried it myself, I can vouch for it. I'm sure he won't mind my sharing it with other writers.

Assume you are through early planning of your book and are now into the scene by scene drafting. What you might find you need is some way of rattling along, giving yourself daily deadlines, a start every morning and a sense of satisfaction every evening. Try this:

At the outset, plan three consecutive scenes. After that, the method is simple. On day one, write one whole scene and begin the next one but don't finish it. Lastly, plan the next scene (the fourth, so to speak).

Then, next day, read through what you've done, mark edits etc if that's what you do on first read. That'll give you a start into the scene you began yesterday. Finish the scene. Begin writing the next but don't finish it. Plan another scene (the fifth...).

And so on. It's a good, solid method for keeping yourself focused. The reason you're always planning two scenes ahead, by the way, is that it's always a good idea to know more just the next thing you are planning to write. Gives you breathing space and keeps you looking forwards.

There you go. All plaudits to the great man himself. Won't work for everyone of course but there you go.


Rob B
February 6th, 2006, 11:57 AM
I've been doing something along those lines lately. I try to reach a scene or part of the story where a plot question needs to be answered or an issue needs resolving. Then I stop for the day. The next time I continue writing, ideally the following day, I'll start off with the resolution to the question or issue and move along in the story until another problem arises.

I'm sort of giving myself a cliffhanger and I've found it to be a pretty good motivator.

February 6th, 2006, 07:11 PM
Thanks for posting this NOM!

I've been looking for an idea like this for some time. It seems fairly logical - common sense even. In fact I can hear my high school guidance councilor saying "If you fail to plan, you can plan to fail."

I guess the only question is: why haven't I been doing it?

February 7th, 2006, 04:12 AM
Thank you very much, Nom!

Much to think on!
I am thinking I could adapt it with ease to fit into the time I can make it onto the machine to work. The planning and working will just will be stretched over longer periods of time.

James Barclay
February 7th, 2006, 05:49 AM
Absolutely... it's the centre of a bigger process and hopefully everyone out there who wants to try it out can mould it to their own circumstances.