Friday Fives: Getting to The End

I have only posted an answer to Paper Hangover‘s Friday Fives once or twice, but I’m sitting at my sister’s house with no car and I’m bored with the book I brought and I should be working on NaNoWriMo but I just want to do something that’s time-consuming enough to fill the time until my sister gets back home but not so time-consuming that I’ll still be busy when she gets back.  Phew.  That was a long sentence.  Thanks for sticking in there.

This week’s Friday Five is:  What are the FIVE ways that get you from the beginning to the end of your WiP without losing all your hair?

1. Snacks. It’s totally unhealthy, but for some reason, munching on a cheese stick or whatever else I have on hand helps me get a little more perspective on what I’m writing.  Possibly because one of my hands is indisposed, so I have more time to think about the story as I write it instead of just writing as fast as my fingers can carry me.

2. Index Cards. I love outlining, and I love office supplies.  So, it follows that I love being able to outline my stories on index cards with fun color coding for different plot lines.  When I’m feeling really stuck on the plot structure, I spread out my cards on the floor and stare at them like they’ll reveal the proper resolution all on their own.  Reordering scenes can help unstick my brain sometimes, but mostly my cat just traipses across them and mixes them up like a jerk.

3. Coffee Shops. For some reason I work harder and longer when I’m at a cute coffee shop, with a pastry and a tea and light music piping in and ambient lighting that makes everyone look better than they normally do.

4. Drawer Time. I’ve always heard that it’s best to put something away for a bit if your stuck or if you’re starting to hate every word you write.  When I come back to it, it’s inevitably better than I was giving myself credit for, and I have fresh eyes to catch plot holes and mistakes.

5. Candles and Fresh Air. This one baffles me, but I’ve found that I am ultra-motivated whenever I can sit somewhere with a yummy-smelling candle lit and a window open.  The weather has to be windy, so I can actually feel the air coming through the window.  Rainy weather is even better.  Obviously I can write without this set-up, but for some reason I feel like I can overcome any setbacks with a candle and an open window.

What are your writing tricks/tips for getting from the title page to the end?

Share My Wisdom:


  1. Alicia Gregoire says:

    I find that I am more productive writing-wise when I’m not at home because it’s less distraction. And when I am home, I do put a candle on too.

    And go, go, go on your NaNo novel. You can do it! 🙂

  2. Meredith says:

    Oh my gosh, index cards! Index cards are my lifeline. As I sit here typing this, I have no less than two dozen index cards scattered around my computer, containing everything from major plot points to character’s family trees to math problems. I’ve done the plotting through index cards too, and it’s a GREAT way to reorganize a plot that needs it.

  3. Susan says:

    I definitely agree with these! And have you ever tried shuffling your index cards??? It does crazy, awesome things to your brain when you try to put them back in order…

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