Monday, May 19, 2008


Posted by Lisa Marnell

For those of us who work in the schools, the next few weeks are BUSY! As a driven writer, I am determined to prevent end of the year time pressures from interfering with my writing. I am going to be surgical with time management. To do so, I will eliminate EXTRAS, such as the following:

1- No EXTRA Characters: Why spend hours writing a scene about a character when the character is not likely to survive a second draft.

I vow to ask myself if a character, any character, moves the plot forward. If he or she doesn’t, it’s curtains!

2- No EXTRA Words: What takes longer to type: “The situation was nearing the point where they’d have to come out soon.” Or “It was over!”

I vow to become an “It was over!” kind of writer. (Example borrowed from “The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing by Evan Marshall)

3- No EXTRA Web-Surfing: NO! NO! NO!

I vow to pick one web sight I’ll allow myself to visit, once a day, prior to writing, not because of boredom or ADD, but as a venue for inspiration.

4- No EXTRA e-mails to friends: No poems to Amy and Hannah and Lynne (is that a relief?) No joking e-mails to my friend Kim in Marshfield either.

I vow to be business like and efficient in online communications.

5- No EXTRA subplots. I do this extra subplot thing. An idea comes to me and I go with it, only to nix it later.

I vow to stick to my outlined plot and finish Rose’s story with no added bells and whistles.


Anonymous said...

I've cut way back on my web surfing since working full-time and squeezing writing in.

I'll always allow time for The Writer's Group.

It's a mandatory luxury.

Lisa Marnell said...

Kira - Thank you for stopping by! We love to have you.

I work almost full-time currently. For me, the web can be a tool for procrastination. I try to use it wisely.

Anonymous said...

I like the way you include extras from outside the actual writing. The external extras - web surfing, emails - distract from the writing as much as the internal story extras. I guess alot of effective writing comes down to tight focus.

Larramie said...

Rather than eliminating the EXTRAS, how about accentuating the positive and just FOCUS. At least it sounds more enjoyable. So have fun, Lisa!

Lisa said...

You're an inspiration, Lisa. I have my own "stuff I have to cut out" post brewing too. I sense you are a very determined writer, so I'm excited for you.