No matter how fast you type, you can't write an entire novel in one day. So how do you keep your story's flow going?
From character traits to how to pick up writing where you left off, we go over tips to help you pull your story together so you can keep writing without letting readers feel something is disjointed.
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Learn more about maintaining your story's flow on our blog at https://www.amwritingfantasy.com/how-to-maintain-your-story-flow/!
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Read the full transcript below. (Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).
You're listening to The Am writing Fantasy Podcast in today's publishing landscape, you can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need an literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now onto the show with your hosts, Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt.
Hello, I am Jesper.
And I'm Autumn.
This is episode 137 of the am writing fantasy podcast. And we have a writing related episode today as well. Well, We were going to discuss how to maintain your story flow in this one was one of your ideas.
All of them, there was, well, actually it came off the blog. It was a very popular post there. So I thought we should do an updated content slash podcast on maintaining your story flow, which is convenient because I have, like I shared with you before we started, I've finishing up the final book of the tainted phase. So I wrote this, so I stopped at the end of January. So, you know, almost six months ago now, and I've realized I was missing a chapter. So too, we use all one more. If I always, oh, that's my history. I will write a short book. And when I get to the climax, I'm always adding at least two or three chapters. So what's the right, that, that next chapter that would flow and fit into the whole story after six months it's oh, it's a little more challenging.
Autumn (1m 34s):
I think that in a lot of people realized to make sure that that kind of meshes Inn and sounds right, and they still have the character in my head. So those are the kinds of tips we are going to look at. Cause it could be six months like I did, it could be a year. It could be just, I don't know, between one day and the next and you just kinda lose that, that drive that makes this story sound like one cohesive whole. And we wanted that. You don't wanna do that. You want to read or not to go, well, what happened with their reading? It did they all, they have a bad date. That's why they character died. Right. But you already had like 150,000 words and then you add up, you decided to have another chapter.
Autumn (2m 16s):
So that was I, that was counting that chapter. I knew how long it was going to be. So that's 150,000 and yeah, I was aiming for 90,000, but there's just so much going on in so many important storylines when you write the final book of a series and you're pooling all of those together and she let my readers know theirs kind of have a few ending things that could continue on to another book because that's like I said, I swear my tombstone is going to be, I'm going to have it like a design as a book. And on one side, it's going to have all my, all my information of who I was. And the other side is going to say to be continued because I will never, ever wrap up a story completely.
Jesper (2m 56s):
I don't think so. Yeah.
Autumn (2m 58s):
Even this one even was the final book. It's not possibly the final, final book ever, but yeah, yeah, that was a lot going on. So yeah, it went from 90,250. That was just the way it goes sometimes. But that's also a good thing, you know, 'cause, if you are well in general, you know, if sales justify it, then it's always nice to have a few open-ended so that you can continue on. Oh, absolutely. Or if you know the character's wake you up three M a little to often, maybe we will continue with anyway. So just for yourself, it is, you have the characters, are you regretted? You didn't kill that character.
Autumn (3m 40s):
And I don't know how that could be worse and you'll have undead.
Jesper (3m 43s):
All right. It's all right. You got to watch out which ones you kill off.
Autumn (3m 50s):
Like they can come back too. And that's true. So otherwise we have just been a writing in going about all that editing stuff. Yeah. So that's pretty, and some book covers. I've got to, I'm trying to finish up this Tainted Fae in staying out of the heat. We're recording early again because we have vacation time coming up. So where we're at now in the world, it is incredibly sweltering in record, breaking temperatures and highs for all. I know that's going to be the next month as well. So I have been hiding from the heat and getting up extremely early so that if I want to exercise or do anything outside, it has done before 7:00 AM.
Autumn (4m 31s):
'cause you don't want to go outside after 7:00 AM. Not if you're, we've already discussed that. I have that pro, so that fly protein that, that your brain unwinds at above 80 degrees. And that's it for me. So I'm going to stay inside and do very small, quiet things.
Jesper (4m 48s):
All right. Well, writing time is not too bad anyway. So of course, if it gets too warm that you can't write it, and that is a bit of annoying thing to do.
Autumn (4m 58s):
So. Yeah. Yeah. Well that, that's my excuse for the AC is my dog. So as we've talked about, and this is a fizzy gig, he looks like a fizzy gig. He is as free as a fizzy gig and he gets hot. So we have to have an AC on. And then from my poor computer's sake, I have to actually run an AC because that gets too hot and humid. And I can't run all my, I can't write where I can't draw all that's the end of the world for me, so that I have been working on some fun fantasy maps for other authors and some really cool book covers. And I don't want my computer to die on me, which means they probably shouldn't touch it.
Jesper (5m 33s):
So that famous question of what would you bring to a desert island? It's just like my computer so I can make the very least pen and paper, this giant sketchbook, because you can use that for writing or drawing.
Autumn (5m 45s):
Oh yeah. That's true. So how have things been for you?
Jesper (5m 52s):
Good. Yes. I got my first vaccine shot last Friday and I was sort of really crossing my fingers that I wouldn't get sick from it. Like some people have been, but I was actually okay. You know, Friday, Saturday, and I was fine when my arm was sore. Like it is for a lot of people, so that was fine. But then Sunday, Monday, and also part of today, I've just been so drained of energy and extremely tired. I have so much, it's been a, it's been a struggle for me as well. And so I haven't gotten any writing done yesterday, none done today either.
Jesper (6m 37s):
I just haven't had the energy. So I'm sort of fingers crossed that maybe I'll get some writing done tomorrow, but honestly, I feel like right now it's, it's sort of up in the air whether or not, I don't know. We, I think it depends on how I feel tomorrow.
Autumn (6m 52s):
I can understand you said that I went through the same thing. So it's something that goes quiet on the podcast and you only hear me talking, you've gone to sleep.
Jesper (7m 0s):
And so yeah, you can sort of that clap your hands on the podcast and then they might wake me up.
Autumn (7m 7s):
Oh, all right. Well, we'll have to keep that in mind. If I see the screen go dark and you're kind of off to the side,
Jesper (7m 16s):
or if you hear a bump in to the microphone, that was just my forehead.
Autumn (7m 20s):
So that we go, all right, that's fair enough.
Jesper (7m 24s):
Oh, but I did. I took me awhile to really put two and two together because we'd been traveling and a few other things, but I re I had that for like two weeks. So I hope it doesn't last that long for you, but I even started drinking iced coffees and stuff, and I'm not a coffee drinker. It's, I'm like T all the way, but I needed something because it felt like my whole life had gotten derailed. And I'm usually high energy. I mean, I'm actually low energy compared to my mom.
Autumn (7m 50s):
And you should meet her. She's like a tornado. I just, I was fading, but right after lunch and, and, and you're right, if it's a tiredness where your brain is just like, you want me to put two words together, know, knock it up. And so I, and it's just that size. Yeah. Oh, wow. Oh, it's feeling slightly a better today compared to you yesterday evening, if even so I hope fingers crossed by tomorrow. That I'll be somewhat.
Jesper (8m 19s):
Okay. Again, I I'm not feeling bad or anything. I'm just so, oh, so, oh, well that was the big question you get sick.
Autumn (8m 25s):
That's good. That's good. But the big question is they are now saying mixing your vaccinations. Your types is a good thing. So are you going to get the same thing again? Are you going to go get something different for your second shot?
Jesper (8m 39s):
It's the same one that I'm going to go for a second shot. And I, and the nurse did say when I got this first shot, she said that mostly people have more after effects of the second one than the first one. So I'm expecting they might be worse, but let's see.
Autumn (8m 58s):
It only lasted. I didn't get, even, I felt a little run down from maybe 12 hours and then it was like, oh, I'm fine. I didn't have the same tiredness. So hopefully you will feel okay.
Jesper (9m 7s):
All right. Yeah.
Narrator (9m 11s):
Oh, a week on the internet with The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast, the
Jesper (9m 17s):
Virtual reported on some interesting information that I thought it would be very good to share with people here on the podcast because it's highly relevant for us authors.
Autumn (9m 30s):
Yes. So I'm, we talked a bit about this as well before the recording.
Jesper (9m 34s):
So you're already in the loop here.
Autumn (9m 37s):
We have just, we've already strategized and discussed it because it does change how you run one of the most important things that you will have as an author. If you're running a business,
Jesper (9m 49s):
man, that was quite a and efficient Tuesday order. And once you think of it, that you had recorded over a hundred posts, podcast episodes by now,
Autumn (9m 59s):
and most of them by the seat of my pants. Thank you.
Jesper (10m 3s):
You don't say that. You just keep that to yourself.
Autumn (10m 5s):
Oh, okay. Sorry. My mistake I'm always prepared.
Jesper (10m 9s):
Yeah, exactly. I don't know if, if I said what you needed to lie, but you have just leave out information. That is not the same as lieing. And now you are an outright lying and such.
Autumn (10m 18s):
I feel like I'm always prepared because I know it's so well, I don't need to do my own work.
Jesper (10m 23s):
Yeah. Okay. Now we just paddling. Instead. I'm really glad that we get back to this anyway, where we wanted to talk about an article in the verge that they have. They reported from a one of apple, apple usually make announcements on its worldwide developer conference. And a, one of the announcement's that they made on the worldwide developer conference was concerning e-mail marketing. And obviously from us authors email lists and being in touch with readers through email and so on is really, really important. So that of course made me pay attention.
Jesper (11m 6s):
It's one of the cornerstones for us authors. And it's not only of course some email, this is not only for building an audience, but also maintaining it. So what apple announced was that what they call major privacy protection. Mmm. And what this means is that it's basically a way in which apple will limit the amount of data that people who send you emails can collect about you. So all in all, I'm very supportive of that. I, I liked the privacy protections in general, and I don't like when all the M big corporations.
Jesper (11m 47s):
And so what not collect information from what you're doing on the internet and so on, but that also to all of us author's of course, because when we are sending out emails, there is in the email and invisible pixel that basically tracks in the sense that if the pixel gets loaded, eh, which means that than the email was opened than the information is sent back to the email providers. So that, that could be whatever email provider you used like us, we use MailerLite, you could be a MailChimp ConvertKit whatever, when you use, right. But all of these vendors incorporate these invisible pixels to be able to tell you what your open rate is.
Jesper (12m 33s):
So, but when the fall comes, apple will roll out the Iowa iOS update version 15. And within that iOS update, the mail app will basically stop a, that invisible picture from loading. Yes. And this also means that whenever you are sending emails to readers who are using apple, then the tracking of the open rates will start become inaccurate, or basically they, it won't trigger the registration within the email provider. So this also means that when you're looking at the metric called open rates, that's basically what is tracked via this pixel.
Jesper (13m 21s):
Well, then you need to understand that a certain percentage of the reader's that actually opens the email's is telling you when you are looking at the open rates that they did not open it. So let me just do that again, in case that was a bit confusing. So when you send your emails, the open rates will get tracked, but 'cause this blocking is in place by apple is means to have some people will open the email, but you won't know that they open the emails. So maybe that was a better way of putting it all.
Autumn (13m 53s):
That makes sense.
Jesper (13m 54s):
So what that's, what this, all of this means to us, all authors, in my view, I think we need to, first of all, of course, don't be like overly concerned and worried. And now I think that the world is falling apart and now email marketing will be worth nothing and so on. And that is not the case, right? So lets first of all, take a deep breath. Don't worry too much. So it's not like nothing will work anymore. Email marketing is still the most important cornerstone of your author business in my view. But there is of course, a few things you need to be aware of. And one of the things that autumn and I discussed today prior to this recording was that a pretty common, best practice is too recent to on open.
Jesper (14m 40s):
So again, within your email provider being MailChimp ConvertKit MailerLite blah, blah, blah, whatever it's called, they have always like an automated function where you can set up the system either automatically reset to open one's. If I remember correctly in ConvertKit you have to do it manually, but they will track it. And you can go in and say, I want a recent, this email to unopens M which is a smart thing to do. And it's, it's like a best practice. And we have been doing it for a long time already. But what I would say is that since the tracking pixel doesn't register, whether they opened it or not, this means that it will automatically be displayed as unopened. So if you don't start recently emails, all the people on apple devices, or at least all the people who haven't actively opt into wanting to be tracked, which I will assume will be a very, very small group of people who will actually opt into being tracked.
Jesper (15m 37s):
So that means that let's just say all of it all like 99% of the people using apple devices, if you receive emails to unopens, you are going to send them the same email that maybe a lot of those people already read and then they're gonna get it again. What's this going to annoy them? Or a lot of it would annoy me.
Autumn (15m 56s):
Yeah. So, and then you are unsubscribe rate is going to go up unsubscribed
Jesper (16m 1s):
because why are these people always sending me the same email twice? That's really annoying. And I understand that. So the thing we discussed now was that come September, we will stop re sending to an open. And we'll just hope that people actually open the emails because we can't trust that metric anymore. Yeah. And that's that that's annoying of course, but so is life and life moves on?
Autumn (16m 26s):
Oh gosh. Well adapt. It's fine. Yeah. It's definitely something to keep in mind. If you clean out your email list based on, you know, people who don't ever open your emails, you might want to, you know, send them an email beforehand with like a link to click or something that gets them to a survey. That's why we liked MailerLite there are so many like active things that people can do to answer questions and click on things and stuff like that. So you might want to make sure you do something before you delete someone because they might of be reading every single one, but that might be reading it on an apple come September. At that point, you're not going to know if they're reading it or not. So keep that in mind.
Jesper (17m 6s):
Oh, that's a very right. That that's exactly the other part of it. And what of course, where we do is we try to run what we call re-engagement campaign. So that means that we are sending like three, four emails to see if we can get them to re-engage before we delete them. But even then you need to be careful because the way that we set up re-engagement campaigns normally is that if they didn't open the email or so of course, although if they click something inside the email, we will remove the tack against their name for them to be deleted.
Autumn (17m 38s):
Jesper (17m 38s):
But again, that won't work anymore. No. So you can't even trust that. So you have to be, I think very, very explicit in the emails that you send out, like telling that you cannot tell whether or not they're reading your emails and therefore you want to make sure. So if you are doing pruning of your lists, meaning deleting stuff, people that who are inactive, which I think is a good practice to do it. And I also know a lot of people also influencers in the author space who do not agree that it's a good idea to prove the list. So take that as you will. But if something you do, then don't base your decision on deleting people on the open rates know.
Jesper (18m 18s):
So that's also a problem. Yes.
Autumn (18m 21s):
Yeah. So we have changes, but will get well adapted. Its not that big of a deal. Well we'll survive unless you're really into metrics. If you're really in a metrics. I'm so sorry if it's going to be bad metrics.
Jesper (18m 32s):
Yeah, indeed. So we will place a link to the article in the show notes. So if you want to check it out and if you want to read what was more set in in more details, then you can. But honestly I just told you everything. So sounds good.
Autumn (18m 47s):
And I have one thing to share even though it's, it's not really to the author community, but I know they can celebrate with me.
Jesper (18m 53s):
Autumn (18m 54s):
I don't know if you notice, but over the weekend board of water hit its 400th review, so yay. Oh that's my debut novel. And so it is lovely to see it hit 400 when age.
Jesper (19m 6s):
Oh wow. That's so good. Very good. Congratulations. You 400 reviews. That's that's not a small,
Autumn (19m 16s):
oh that's a nice round number. It's a big one. I like it. Yeah. Yeah.
Jesper (19m 21s):
Oh so a very quick reminder, before we move on to the topic of the day here as mentioned last week, we've decided to offer everyone on our email list and massive discount for either of our flagship courses. And we will be mailing out a voucher code of 150 bucks to be used on any of our courses.
Autumn (19m 44s):
Oh I was gonna say, oh you said two flagships that we actually decided like what an hour ago, it's going to be for a choice of three courses.
Jesper (19m 52s):
Autumn (19m 53s):
Why not that big deal?
Jesper (19m 54s):
Well, yeah that's that's quite a discount. Yeah. So we have the ultimate fantasy, all writers guide course, which is the writing guide or the writing course. We have the well building course, which yeah, I guess you, maybe you can guess what that's about.
Autumn (20m 11s):
Yeah. Well it's officially called crafting incredible fantasy world. So we do you call it world-building that would of been too easy.
Jesper (20m 19s):
We also have, then that's the third one that we added into the pot, the email marketing course, which is very much on point of what we just talked about. Oh yeah. So you can get $150 off of any of these courses, any one of them of your choice.
Autumn (20m 37s):
Jesper (20m 38s):
And we placed a link in the show notes from where you can get onto our email is so that you will also get this emailed once we send out the vouchers. But yeah, if that's something that you interest you, I will alert you to get on the email list right now as you're listening to this, because I'm not gonna say for sure when we're going to send out the voucher, but it's going to come in the next probably maybe three weeks or something like that. So if you forget about it and don't get signed up, then you're going to miss it. So yeah. You better get going. Sounds good.
Narrator (21m 13s):
And on to today's topic.
Jesper (21m 17s):
Perhaps I'll just give you the range here, autumn, and that we can explain what we were talking about.
Autumn (21m 21s):
You just doing that because I said I never did my homework and I do this by this either of my pants. And you're like, okay, go, go for how long
Jesper (21m 27s):
I'm going to test it.
Autumn (21m 30s):
So yeah. Well I've already hinted about this at the beginning. So this topic is maintaining your story flow into me. This means sort of what I said before that it makes this story. It's two parts won that when you have a reader reading it, it sounds like one cohesive story. It doesn't matter if it took you five years to write it a decade or if your one of those insane fast writers, it took you a week. It all should still sound like it was one author written in one setting in story. It doesn't sound like it's all over the place where all these big life events happened in between. And the other thing is, as a writer sitting down to write, it lets the reader's response. But as a writer, you know, you have life jobs, personal things, COVID, you know, all of these things that have been every single day, hopefully not that often, but things that interrupt her writing in, how do you maintain that story?
Autumn (22m 25s):
Almost enthusiasms. How do you keep that voice? That author's voice, the characters have voice going so that you don't feel like you're coming back and going, oh, I have no idea what I was writing and it doesn't make any sense. And where was I going with that? So its kind of have those two principles. I think we're really covering today. If you agree with that.
Jesper (22m 45s):
Oh yeah. I like the idea for this podcast episode, all that, but it's also a very broad one. We, we can sort of go anywhere where you almost absolutely. Oh yeah. I think that was kind of like the idea is to just help you keep that story vibe going, but, and there are so many different ways of doing that and was one thing that was going to work for somebody might not work for you. So, oh, we're going to cover a couple of different things I think. Alright. So where did we start?
Autumn (23m 11s):
Oh well to me and I think you'll agree with this is the best way to keep your story on track and flowing. And so that you don't feel like if like last is to have some sort of outline, doesn't have to be a whole plot, but outline, I thought you'd liked that one. I mean we have those old YouTube videos. Maybe we can find the link to them and like how to make a half an hour story outline. It doesn't have to be something you spend days or weeks plotting, but to have a roadmap so that you know where you're at and where you're going. And that way if you happen to be halfway or a quarter or three-quarters you can pick it up and go, oh yes, this is where I am.
Autumn (23m 52s):
And you can go back on your route again and not get lost. Yeah. I would say even better either go to a Am Writing Fantasy dot com or go to Amazon or wherever you buy books and then just search for my own name. And then you will find the book called plot development and their is a full step-by-step guide, their, that we actually wrote on how to do the outline and it will help you a lot. It will
Jesper (24m 19s):
And even if your pants or even if you don't blink outlining you just try it on once and then I will fully respect if you afterwards say, yeah, it's not from me. Fine. But I think it's important not to have an idea in your head, that loud lining is not for you, if you haven't tried it. And there's a lot of those people out there, I'm sorry. But there is, there's a lot of people that have prejudiced that outlining is not from me. It doesn't work. That's not how I right. But they've never actually tried it. So I'd say just try it before you judge. That's all I would say.
Autumn (24m 51s):
I agree. And it'd be having started as a pantser and we all know that I'm the Guinea pig of this spontaneous and hey. You go do this and I go in and do it without him thinking often, I don't know. I've got to work on that. You can't believe I've made it this long in my life. But I, I went from pantsing to at least mildly plotting. I mean, that's why I developed first that half an hour outline. And now when we're writing together, we plot and we plot pretty heavy. And the more I get into writing in the types of writing, I like, I like literary fantasy and I like very involved subplots and plot. So have you only get that if you are plotting because it's too hard and tangled to do as a solid pantser, if anyone could keep that going hats off to you, but I don't know how you can do that intense of a storyline without doing some plotting.
Autumn (25m 41s):
So give it a try. It's amazing what comes out the other end. And as I said, I tend to be very much so I live my life as a pantser and I'm a plotter when it comes to writing.
Jesper (25m 51s):
Yeah. And I would also go out on a limb and say that the people who say that they can do that, that's not, that's not right. I I'm sure that the pantsers can make a very, very elaborate plots and subplots and so on. But the thing is that the re the way that they do that is they, they, they have to go over it many, many, many times and see that in and edit it and edit more and more to see that in new things in and make things connected and so on. So that's of course also the way to do it. A but if we were talking about maintaining a flow, then it is easier when you have an outline and you notice that everything is already connecting, you know, all the foreshadowing it's there, you set it up.
Jesper (26m 32s):
So, you know, exactly what's beats to hit in which chapters and so on. And it just makes it easier.
Autumn (26m 39s):
It does that even with, even the outlining, and we look beyond the plotting, having a chapter outline and having a chapter flow, where you go, you have a hook at the intro and you have a developing problem and a climate, you know, a resolution. And that's usually tangles into the next chapter. If you're skipping point of view, you know, having those things figured out, what's the next point of view? What is the next thing? What is the next hook? What's the, how has this, chapter's going to end those that are having those aspects figured it out really helped you maintain this, just focusing on this story of focusing on the emotional plot or the character arc that helps you maintain your flow. I mean, I always liked the idea that Einstein had five different suits.
Autumn (27m 20s):
They were all exactly the same because it wasn't, you didn't want to have to stress his mind about what am I wearing. He had bigger things to think of. And when it comes to your story, it's the same thing. You have bigger things to think of than, oh, you know, how has this next chapter going to start off, get all that figured out so that you can just enjoy writing and the process of writing. And you don't have to spend half of you're writing time. And especially, I mean, like you said, when I have my full-time job, they would have time. You have 45 minutes, a night to write or an hour and a half. And I still finished four books in a year because I had it all figured out. I knew when I came home, I could open it up and see where I was read the last sentence and go, oh, this is where I've had.
Autumn (28m 0s):
And I could just get to writing. I didn't have to worry about all this other stuff. Cause it was set up ahead of time.
Jesper (28m 7s):
Mm. Yeah, indeed. And if, if, if, if you don't like outlining and that sort of thing works for the pantser, right. I mean, if, you know, if you think about the day before, where am I going to start the next chapter tomorrow, then that will help keeping the flow going. Even if you don't have an outline.
Autumn (28m 25s):
Absolutely. That was, that was so of my favorite tricks for myself as when I realized like your down until your last five minutes of writing time, you know, the family there in the background and food, food, food dinner, who are you ever coming out of there and get off the computer and you know, that that's coming and you're like, okay. Instead of writing and trying to finish up the scene, I would actually take a break and start making notes for myself. I would get hit space a couple of times, put it in bold or italics so that I knew this was, this is just notes for myself. And that say, this is where I'm going. This is where this scene is going. This is where the next chapter is. Just brain dump everything that's in your head because you know, you're almost out of writing time and the most efficient use for it.
Autumn (29m 7s):
So that you'll be able to pick it up again faster. Next time is to leave yourself some breadcrumbs, make sure you do that as a fantastic way of wrapping up you're writing. And then to tell them, look, I only need five more minutes, please just give me this.
Jesper (29m 25s):
No that that's true. And I was also thinking that M one of the things that I'm very much an advocate for in terms of keeping the flow in the writing going is to get the writing done before anything else, if it's first thing that you do when ever you have to time, whether it's in the mornings or the evenings. So that doesn't matter. But, but if you do the writing before you do any of the other stuff, like maybe managing some ads or replying to emails or whatever, it may be sort of admin stuff that you have. If you do the writing first, then you are taking care of the most important thing first.
Jesper (30m 5s):
And that, that helps a lot in terms of keeping the flow going and you don't get sucked into, oh my God, it's now a week since I wrote last time, because I've been doing all these other things and maybe you got a lot of fun, but it hurts you're writing. So I'm prioritizing of that sentence is important.
Autumn (30m 24s):
Yeah, I agree. I mean, it helps before when I had the full-time job, I would often write when I got home, which was at my most creative time. It helps to know when you're most creative time it is. And for most people it tends to be morning. Some people it's after 11, 11:00 PM. And I know they're, they're vampires I have no idea how that is your creative time, but that they do exist. I've been told I've never met one because I'm asleep. I had 11:00 PM at that time, rarely, very rarely occasionally, but you know what I'm doing overnight drop drives to go see my parents. So that's about the only time you have killed me over night up at 1:00 AM.
Autumn (31m 6s):
All my goodness. But yeah, it's knowing when you are creative time, it is. And trying to set that as your writing time. But if you have nothing else that, you know, having either a set time, this is my writing time and making your family like understand that and not bother you. This is not when you're going to go Facebook and chat, you have to be good to turn off your wifi. So if you have to, I mean, I know we often use it to go do quick research, but you know, leave yourself a blank, you know, come back and do the research later. If you have to do it when you're editing, try to stay offline, truly focus on writing. But I agree now that I I'd rather get up earlier again, I'm in bed early.
Autumn (31m 46s):
So 5:00 AM to me is, is not that bad of a thing. And if I can get an hour of writing in my whole day is just like glowing and set. I just love that. And it's sort of like the idea of, I'm not a huge exercise fan, but if I can get a little bit of exercise in and then get to writing, oh my gosh. So that day is like a, so I already feel like I've won the championship and it's not even 7:00 AM yet.
Jesper (32m 11s):
Yeah. And I, I think as well, the, well, when you said you turn off the internet reminded me because that the fact that they're on know disturbances around really helps a lot. So if you are currently in an environment or a place where you find yourself getting distracted all the time, then maybe you need to find a different place to do you're writing. Mmm. And some people like it when they have very many people around, like in a cafe or something, and there was no summer. Some people liked that noise level. Other people preferred extremely quiet and isolated with a locked door, almost a, but it's up.
Jesper (32m 53s):
So it doesn't matter what it is. But I think it's important that you work out what works for you and try to make sure you create that sort of writing environment for yourself, because that will also again, keep the flow going.
Autumn (33m 6s):
Oh, I agree. I mean, keeping, and that can be a little things. I mean, where are you write the time of day, all the clutter, if, whether or not, you know, you can have a clean writing space often really works better for people, especially if you're still putting all your stuff into sticky notes instead of Scrivener files.
Jesper (33m 23s):
And you're doing that thing of that.
Autumn (33m 25s):
My sticky notes of talking about actual sticky note. So the one of my desktop's, I love my sticky as they work very well. Oh, I think that we've been working together.
Jesper (33m 42s):
So probably you only had to say one word, but where do you start laughing?
Autumn (33m 46s):
Or you're like, oh, this sticky is that he's. But you keeping the clutter, you want to be able to find your notes from your writing file, but I have two, or even if I'm hitting up really bad writing package, and I just need that little to know what you need to push yourself over the edge to get your self and that mind space. Umm, I used to have told you that and I have told the audience, sometimes they would be keeping that page like Jara Martin. There was just like some of this writing, they just go in and speak of wow. That I want to go write because then I wanna right. Like that sometimes. And recently like that chapter or that I just tried to finish. I just, I had a whole bunch of notes and they weren't flowing together. I sometimes do that.
Autumn (34m 26s):
I write backwards. I will just do like scenes and then I'll have little breaks in between them. And I'm like, okay, I've got to make this into a whole thing. And I finally just M sometimes it's putting on headphones. I just put on like a YouTube epic three hours, epic fantasy music. And it helps sometimes having that background and soaring music in battle scenes. And so it was just like, ow, my brain said, oh, okay. Yeah, yay. I know we're going to have right now. And so you need to figure out what your triggers are. You know, what kind of little routine, if you do sit down with a cup of tea and listened to that music or read a paragraph, what do you need to do to make your mind go? Yes, I am ready too. Right. And we're were gonna keep this going.
Jesper (35m 7s):
And sometimes you're just stuck and you don't quite know what is supposed to happen next in this story. And I can't quite work out the character or whatever it may be. And I think here it's very, very good to go outside, go for a walk and put it aside for a bit and get, go out. And don't think about what should happen. Just let the inspiration come to you because it will, your, your mind will be working on solving the, without you even thinking about it. That some that's exactly why sometimes you will experience that when you are in the shower or you all doing grocery shopping, then all of a sudden it pops into your, oh, I know what it is now.
Jesper (35m 48s):
And that's because your mind is working on it. So just sometimes accept the fact that your mind needs a bit of time to work on the problem and then go for the walk, go do something else, whatever it may be. I do feel like fresh air is very, very good thing. A but the main thing, whenever you do, don't stop jumping to the new shiny story idea that you got and leave this one behind because then the other one feels easier to go to because you're not stuck there yet. You have to finish the stuff you're working on. And I know, I know that some people like to have multiple projects that they juggle and fine if that's what you like then, but at least from my point of view, I will never give the advice that you should be jumping into a new projects all the time.
Jesper (36m 33s):
Because the fact that you can prove to yourself that you can finish something is massively important. And even if that, that means that today you are going to go for a walk and you're not going to do anymore writing until tomorrow and wants you slept on it and allowed your mind to work on solving the problem at hand, then that's fine, but don't just put it aside and start writing something new because chances are, you will also hit a roadblock in the new project and then on what you are going to do, are you going to jump to the new one again? And you see all of a sudden, you'd have 10 of unfinished manuscripts on your computer and 'cause every time you get stocked, you jumped you something new and set. You have to teach yourself how to overcome those obstacles and actually finish the work.
Autumn (37m 16s):
I agree. And I would say usually the best ideas come to me, not in the shower, but usually when I have like three things on the stove. And that's always, when you get a good idea and you're like, darn it. That's why I always keep note paper like stickies around so I can keep it quick and, and not forget because writing down those ideas will also help you keep going so you can add them. Like, that's why I do love Scrivener. I can just say, oh, I've got this idea for a seen, and I stick it, you know, in the chapter where I know that needs to be, I love being able to do that. So when I get to that chapter, it's already sitting there waiting for me, but I do.
Jesper (37m 54s):
Yeah. Or, and the court board and script. And that has what looks like sticky note. So that probably nicer as well.
Autumn (37m 58s):
You were thinking of me. But I also, I read, I definitely agree. I always had this rule that if I had only been sitting down for 15 minutes and I was stuck, I couldn't leave. I couldn't leave until I hit that 15 minute or 20 minute mark. I had to at least try to write and work on my story for those 15 to 20 minutes. Cause it is your brain is like, I don't want to do this. I don't want to go to Facebook. I don't want to do this. I wanted to go do something else. But if you can get into it, you'll usually push past that and keep writing. And sometimes I would need to not be, we work with exactly what I thought I was going to write on the story, but I'd have to sink into the character
Jesper (38m 37s):
head saying, okay, what does the character seeing right now?
Autumn (38m 39s):
Was it raining? Is that what, you know, just kinda pull myself up into the story and it may end up cutting out of that stuff. Maybe they're all be bits. I keep because it's a really good description and really places, you know, the reader into the character's head. But I have to admit if I have been there for 15, 20 minutes and I have put in an honest effort and I haven't been jumping off to Facebook or something, I agree sometimes just saying, what else can I do? I'm going to go for a walk. I'm going to let this sit because sometimes that's all you can do. However, I will admit there was a time I was working on two projects in tandem and I thought it was fantastic because I would write like, I'd have a goal of four chapters in one and just half a chapter and the other one.
Autumn (39m 20s):
And if I hit those glitches where it's like, oh my gosh, I can not think what happens next. This character is not flowing. Especially that story. You had a politician and I've talked about that before. I don't do politician. Well, it was so hard to write in his voice, but then I could, so I could switch to the other one saying, okay, I'm gonna do that half chapters and jumping between them. I worked very well, but I have written over a trilogy at this point. And it was not a fresh out of, you know, gay. I have earned my little Stripe's and I knew that I could do it. And I only stuck to both of those and I managed to continue and get it done.
Autumn (40m 0s):
So it works. So if you have a blog maybe or short stories or Vela is a good thing. And as long as they were in the same vain and you don't switch two new ideas where you actually can have two side-by-side like parallel projects and one's your main project, but maybe you're going to write a quick Vella story. You to go with it, to get some new reader interests that can work. Sometimes. I don't know. Maybe if you're brain is like mind on a squirrel in cocaine, that we will work really, really well for you.
Jesper (40m 30s):
You, if you work, so you speeding up and down to three trees of carrying sticky notes and putting sticky notes on today, my name and sign this tree it's all right.
Autumn (40m 42s):
Now, you know what my brain looks like.
Jesper (40m 46s):
And also you hit did too. What we were just talking about. I think pro athletes, for example, they, they often visualize the outcome that they want so that they visuali visualizing their case. For example, what does it feel like to cross the finish line as number one or whatever, if it's a running or if it's a soccer game, which I like a lot than visualizing, how does it feel? Or how does the whole curve in the air when I score the goal and stuff like that. Right? But if you are, if you haven't proved to yourself that you can finish work yet, and you were in that rod of things where you have a bit stuck and you can't quite figure out how to move ahead and you really wanted to jump to that new project, because it sounds so much exciting right now than this I'm grateful, middle of the novel you are stuck in, then that I think, try to copy a bit what this pro athletes do, try to visualize in your mind, what will it feel like once I have the novel done, how will I feel about it?
Jesper (41m 55s):
And then hang on to that feeling. All right. And try to channel that feeling into forcing yourself to actually write it, because you know that by the end of it, I'm going to get to this place where I know how good it feels. And that's another way that you can try to trick your mind to battle that challenge that you have facing. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think sometimes just give you the energy to push through some of those really tough chapters to say,
Autumn (42m 22s):
okay, you know, especially with like the seven steps of story structure, all can stuck in the reaction phase, but how cool is it going to be when I get to write that, that horrible scene of, of, you know, that dark moment that happens with flips the whole SI you know, a whole book and, you know, you, when you start thinking, okay, what's it gonna feel like we finally get to write the climax in this big, wonderful thing that happens then that can keep you going as well, especially when you realize what it's going to feel like they finish it in the, and when you speak a visualization, I made me think sometimes having a writing session, sometimes you get so stuck and bogged down in the intricacies of each chapter, that beginning and ending a writing session session with an eye, you know, a quick look over your synopsis or blurb, or your two sentences that kind of where your theme for the novel step back and make sure you're still on track and remember, oh, well, this is what this story is about and get yourself excited about the whole arc of it.
Autumn (43m 16s):
Again, sometimes that could help get you going as well.
Jesper (43m 21s):
Very true. And I have another one and it might sound a bit weird at first, but there is a logic to the madness here. The thing is that, that you might actually want, if you feel like keeping the flow is a challenge for you, you might want to try out dictation. Oh, and I know the default reaction have many people is like, know, thank you. I don't want to dictate anything. That's crazy and fine. Yes. You might say that. We act, we did actually, by the way, have a podcast episode in the past about dictation.
Jesper (44m 3s):
So you can go and search that one out. If, if, if you want to hear more about how to go about the dictation, but my point about it this morning, that dictating your story will increase. You're writing speed significantly. And sometimes when you have things to keep, you know, pulling you off, ah, and distracting you or interrupting your flow, if you can just churn out of the chapters quicker, you will also just get the riding out of their way. In the sense of that, then you are going to prevent those things from interrupting you because you already got the writing done 'cause you can dictate a ton more faster than you can ever write.
Jesper (44m 44s):
So that something you might wanna try out just to see if it worked for you, go I'll, I'll go back and listened to that. The passed episode that we have on dictation and get some good tips and guidelines from, from that episode and then go and test it out and see if that works for you. Yes. I know. Just like before we talked about all outlining, don't say no to something you haven't tried. I agree. It's like talking to kids, isn't it <inaudible>. And until you did that, you tasted it.
Autumn (45m 12s):
All right. I know. Fake spitting it out. It just because you have to think you're right. I know. I think you have to have a little bit of a logical brain for dictation, but again, I think anyone can learn to do it, and it really does help get ideas down very quickly. And so they have a spot. I think it's very useful. And I think just to wrap up, because I mentioned that story flow is also the reader's experience. So how to make a book that maybe took you a year, year and a half, even longer to write sound like a cohesive whole. I hate to say that the big tip is editing. Make sure you self edit. I would say, do I like content editing before you proofread, read the whole thing, get maybe an alpha reader to read the whole thing and point out of the places where things are out of line and out of junk, especially if you don't know how to do it, if you know, that's your first book and you've really, you can't see the forest for the trees, get an alpha, we have to get a mentor, find that content editor.
Autumn (46m 9s):
I have them look at it over and they will point out to places where things aren't kind of kicked off a little bit. That way the reader doesn't go. Okay, did we start a different story? You halfway through this, a different author picked up. Occasionally I do find books like that, but it's usually not as bad as the author things, but it definitely only comes about by editing because only if you were like one of those really crazy productive authors who can sit down and write 50,000 to 80,000 words in a single week. None of that, I mean, we were both professionals and the I've never had that kind of level of, they don't know if I know, I don't know if I didn't enjoy it. I think that's beyond my enjoyment of writing.
Autumn (46m 49s):
And I still wanna kind of have fun playing with words. So I'm never gonna write quite that fast 'cause I don't want too. So that's why you edit.
Jesper (46m 59s):
Autumn (46m 60s):
Well, I love writing. I just don't want to write a hundred thousand words in a week. That's just know fun. You, you get to spend time with your characters that way two months that'd be good, but that's fine. Yeah.
Jesper (47m 10s):
Well, if I could, I probably would.
Autumn (47m 16s):
Jesper (47m 17s):
But I think based on this conversation, at least what we can conclude is that there isn't one magic bullet to resolve this situation and be looking for a magic bullet that feels like something said before about being that there isn't one,
Autumn (47m 34s):
there doesn't know magic beans, but were still looking, but definitely know magic bullets know.
Jesper (47m 40s):
And I think we can also conclude is that we are all different and that's okay. And I think based on the things that we covered here, the main takeaway is probably that maybe we set something that inspired you, that you want to go and try it. If you feel like maintaining that story flow is a difficult thing than maybe try one of the things we said, and maybe something sort of clicked with you. And then there's some of the other one's we mentioned might not, and that's fine, then you leave those alone. But I, I think we all have different, so yeah, you would have to find your own way.
Autumn (48m 21s):
Jesper (48m 21s):
All right. So next Monday we'll be looking at pre-sales versus pre orders. What's the difference And is one better than the other.
Narrator (48m 32s):
If you like what you just heard, there's a few things you can do to SUPPORT THE AM WRITING FANTASY PODCAST. Please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Autumn and Jesper on patreon.com/AmWriting Fantasy for as little as a dollar a month. You'll get awesome rewards and keep The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast, going, stay safe out there and see you next Monday.