Late last week one of my writing friends sent out a notice. Somehow she missed the fact that she was supposed to bring a completed novel to a master class with Linda Sue Park at the SCBWI National Conference. Clearly this was a writing emergency that required drastic measures. Lynnea decided to embark on a LyNoWriMo. She’s blogging about this journey at
With her permission, I’m posting my cheerleading letter below:
Go, Lynnea! This is a good time of the year for you to do this. I’m betting that your looming deadline will help unblock you. In times like these, the perfect is the enemy of the good. Don’t be afraid to use spaces in the text instead of elegant transitions. I have to say that I’m most productive with café writing. And I’ve found that you don’t necessarily have to go to a café to do it. Just set up something at home if necessary in which you have to keep the hand moving. I managed to do quite a bit of editing and smoothing when I typed the text into the computer.
Fans and dishwashers can provide white noise to screen out other sounds. When I lived in Missouri, I actually did a lot of writing at the Civic Park Pool once my kids were old enough to be supervised by lifeguards instead of needing me to loom over them constantly.
Don’t feel like you have to write sequentially. If you know what your climactic scene is going to be, write it. Sure, it might need a bit of revision once you get there with the rest of your plot, but you’ll also have something really solid to shoot for. I wrote my YA mystery a bit like the transcontinental railroad. I wrote the first three chapters. Then I wrote the last three chapters. Then I wound up picking away a chapter at a time from one end or the other until I the novel finally met in the middle.
I tend to write slowly myself. I tried the NaNoWriMo, and it just didn’t work for me. But I remember how I had about a week to knock out a couple of practically ready-for-the-printer chapters for SAVING THE GRIFFIN. The scene with the Signora DeChecchi’s cousin and Fabio leaped out of the ground as though I’d sown the scene with a dragon’s tooth.
And so that could be a helpful metaphor as you launch into Writing the Dragon. Good luck!