I am halfway done writing my novel, so I thought it would be fun to share 13 things I learned from the experience so far with you.
1. The more you write, the faster you write. When I started writing my novel, I wrote 1,000 words in an hour and a half. If I were lucky and Twitter wasn't particularly interesting. Now I can write double that amount in less than an hour. It is kind of like Harry Potter magic; you get the gift of extra time.
2. Writing teen boys can be really annoying. They can be so immature, because, well, they are teen boys. I sometimes find myself screaming at the screen: "Stop acting like a child!" Then I remember he kind of is.
3. You will be surprised and amazed at how much the Twitterverse knows. If you tweet a question, they will answer. If Twitter united, everyone would be on Jeopardy forever. I am not sure we want that, but I'm just throwing the option out there.
4. I write the best to The Lord of the Rings soundtrack and 80s dance party music. This makes no sense. I am kind of okay with that.
5. I get the best ideas for my characters when I am not thinking about them. This justifies a lot of staring at the ceiling or taking long walks.
6. Comet Ping Pong is an amazing restaurant. Despite what my husband initially thought, it has really good food and is not just for kids. They even have movies playing in the restaurant, which worked perfectly with the date scene in my novel! If you are in DC, check it out.
7. Reading Jane Austen (or another writer) right before writing can affect your writing style. You do not want your characters to sound like Regency-era English people (unless you are writing that type of book). It is just not a good look for 21st century American teenagers.
8. It is better not to read your previous work on a project while you are still writing it. I looked at some of my previous pages, and I flinched. It is better to worry about fixing things when it is revision time.
9. There are many times when I have thought: "I will fix this later. Just keep writing." I recommend this approach. I don't think I would have half a novel if I worried about editing now. I might have two pages. That is being optimistic.
10. Searching Pinterest is really fun for coming up with character outfit ideas. (Check me out here.) It also has helped me describe my characters' houses and parties.
11. There are ghost-themed Homecoming dances. I wish I were joking, but I am not. This is great for my novel, but it is really terrible for humanity.
12. Sometimes I crack myself up. It is probably not a good thing to say out loud, but my characters are witty and hilarious. They are really fun to hang out with.
13. I use way more social media if I am writing an awkward scene. It is like the awkward is too much for me, and I need to look away. This is not great for productivity, but it is what it is.
This is the last chance to learn some fun lessons about your writing through working with me for a month. Click here if you want to make your own "things I have learned while writing" list by October 1. Doors close today!