Support Systems: My Number One Fan

There are many support systems a writer can turn to and some of them may be as close as the next room. A few years ago when i wrote my first science fiction screenplay Paradox, I received great motivation and insight from my poetry writing, movie going thirteen year old daughter Catherine. You wouldn’t expect that from a young teen, but her suggestions were invaluable.

After reading my script, Catherine recommended changes in dialogue responses that added conflict and foreshadowing to many scenes. Her observations about my characters helped me build better secondary characters, a delicious antagonist that everyone will love to hate, and kept my protagonist always in character. Later when I adapted Paradox to novel format, she suggested tweaks to dialogue that improved characterization. Her poetry writing habit of always searching for the right word improved my manuscript with a few minor words changes.

My arduous journey to publication may be a lonely one, but at least I had my number one fan in my corner.

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Distractions

As if writers didn’t already have enough obstacles in the way with slush piles, difficulties in finding an agent, and keeping up with the latest demands of the market, we also have to face the difficulty of distractions. Nowadays, with social media taking up more of our precious time, its a miracle anyone gets anything done. (Victor Hugo didn’t have to worry about twitter or updating his Facebook status. If he did, Quasimodo may have suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome instead.)

To avoid the daily distractions of our lives: the noisy kids, quality time with the spouse (Sorry, honey you are never a distraction), the TV, etc. I made it a habit to get up an hour or two earlier than everyone else. Early morning quiet time that I share with my laptop and my favorite coffee mug have provided countless hours of productivity. (If you are a night bird do the opposite go to bed an hour later than everyone else.) It may not seem like much, but if you train your body and mind, you will be productive.

Remember this, while an hour a day may not seem like much, you can only write one page at a time. There have been days where I write five ages in than hour and there are days where I barely complete a single one. If you write one page per day you will have 365 pages at the end of one year (that is roughly 91,000 words).

You need to find a system that works for you and write.