The challenge: Write 50,000 words in the month of November.
The real goal: An exploration in time management, in the writing process, and in the changes that come with community, accountability, goals, and motivation. For solitary writers, it’s a way to experience a whole new way of writing.
You may hit that 50,000 mark, or you may miss. But more importantly, you may find new ways to write, new methods to keep yourself accountable, and new community members to join you in the process. And who knows? Maybe you’ll end up with the first draft of a your next novel.
I’ve completed about a third of the lessons in R. L. Stine’s MasterClass and I’m loving it. Here are a few of my take-always so far. Writing doesn’t have to be hard and stop listening to the people who say it does.
Spend the difficult hours on the outline so the writing time is fun. Make sure the outline includes the twists, and there should always be twists.
When it comes to writing scary stories for kids, it is to be obviously unrealistic so kids feel safe enough to enjoy being scared. Young adult writing has to be more realistic or teens check out.
And there are a few key things that make reading fun, especially for kids.
Another twenty or so lessons to go with this one. So far, I’m a big fan.
Signing up for a full year of MasterClass has been all it was promised and then some. I started with the class by Margaret Atwood, then flew through James Patterson, Dan Brown, Shonda Rhimes, and Judd Apatow.
Every class has its own takeaways that resonate for me–the right words at the right time.
From Gaiman’s, it’s this message: You learn more from a finished failure than a finished success. And you learn nothing from a string of unfinished starts. Even if the story is terrible, even if you know it’s not quite working, finish it anyway so you can learn from it and move on.
Today I heard a succinct and accurate explanation of why indie publishing appeals to me. David Kadavny summarized it so well when he was interviewed on The Creative Penn Podcast (episode July 1, 2018):
“Traditional publishers are looking for traditional authority triggers” and this is no longer relevant in how I choose to learn or share information.
In the indie world, authority is based more on what works than what the gatekeepers have done in the past.