"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Quick List - A New Addition

So I keep a whiteboard by my desk, and on it I list key things to remember while writing. Sure, the list could go on forever, so, to make it more effective, I keep it short and only add new things when I feel strongly about them.

My list:
1) Cool things per page - How many cool things per page does your novel have?
2) Use the 5 senses - This is a huge one I need to work on.
3) Tension on every page - Without tension, why bother reading?
4) Develop Minor & Peripheral Characters - Even the teleporter operator can have a distinguishing feature. He doesn't just have to be the guy that pushes the button.
5) Conflicting Motivation - Make your characters want things that directly conflict.
And my newest addition:
6) Create a sense of urgency - I love this one!

What's your list of top writing essentials contain?

6 comments:

Christine M said...

I don't need to make a list - I'll just use yours - because everything you have on there is something I need to remember. Great list!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Chris! Now I just need to remember them!

Barrie said...

What's an example of a cool thing?

Maybe I should add that to my list. I do more of a list by scene. But I like your page idea. :)

PJ Hoover said...

Hey Barrie! Using HP as an example, a cool thing might be the pictures with people that move or the staircases that change position. Or the Great Hall that has a ceiling which looks like the sky. I'm interpreting it as things which are not critical to the story (but which can of course be used later if needed), add fun, and readers remember.

Jim D said...

WOW! Love the list.

I need to tape it up on the train seat in front of me as I write during my commute to work! ....maybe the cover of my spiral would be a better choice.

Jim D

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Jim! It's seems to work well keeping it short. That way I don't have to focus on too many things.