No one said making it as a writer is easy. As I am sure most of you know by now, it is in fact very difficult. Never mind being selected to join the exclusive world of the published, I am merely referring to finishing your work. How many of you out there have that great novel that you just can’t seem to finish? Go ahead raise your hands. That’s just what I thought; okay you can put your hands down. As just illustrated by that simple test, a countless number of you have unfinished work. Don’t worry though—this comes with the job description. Fortunately, I am here to help.
My name is Nick and I work for a website by the name of Grammarly—a website dedicated to proofreading and improving grammar. Part of my job is studying the writing habits of people and because of this, I have acquired a fine insight into what it takes to finish. From my experience I have assembled a few tips and tricks that will have you churning out pages faster than you know what to do with them.
Perhaps the most important step, staying organised will allow you keep focus on the task at hand. The process of organisation starts from the beginning—the very birth of your idea. Many authors highly recommend the use of an outline or a book map—a simple way to keep track of plots, development, really any part of your story. Outlines are great because they force you to interact with your story outside of your head, which is an excellent way to determine if your story components work as well as you thought. Just check out J.K. Rowling’s amazing book map here to see exactly what I mean.
Another huge part of staying organised is keeping your work lean. Immediately after finishing a section or chapter, try rereading the section you just wrote and compare it with your outline. Many writers know there is sometimes a difference between what you thought you wrote and what you actually wrote. By combing over the work right away, you can instantly fix and repair sections that otherwise would pose as huge obstacles further down the line.
Part of making that task easier is proofreading your work. I do think that tediously line-editing a freshly written section does more harm than good, but any writing that is unhampered with grammatical error cuts down significantly on reader confusion. The less time spent trying to figure out what you meant, the more time you can spend writing the next chapter. Fortunately, there are amazing online proofreaders that do a much more comprehensive job than your favorite word processor. A site like Grammarly, for example, will help make your writing clear as it proofreads and applies stylistic edits. Simply paste in your work and seconds later you have a proofread copy staring back at you. This is undeniably an excellent tool for any writer.
Stick To A Schedule
Being consistent is another huge part of finishing your book. Give yourself a set-schedule every day in which to write and STICK TO IT! Also, it is wise to give yourself weekly deadlines which will help you stay on track. Basically, the more often you write, the easier it will become to develop a flow and soon the book will be writing itself.
Where you choose to write has a big impact on how much you write. It needs to be place separate from where you do other activities like sleeping, or eating. It needs to be a place solely for writing with the idea that as soon as you enter your “writing space” you will be 1more inclined to write; simple but effective.
Hopefully, these ideas will help you on the road to finally finishing your novel. The more you write, the more you will come to understand your writing style and what works best. When that happens you won’t be browsing the internet searching for tips, you’ll be happily typing away your latest work.
About Nikolas Baron:
Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in Elementary School, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown children’s novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures.
After acquiring some experience in various marketing business development, and hiring roles at internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco.
He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, traveling, and reading.