Make A List To Surprise Yourself. Use Listing When All Else Fails

Make a list. Lists help, not only in your writing, but also in life.

No matter how boring or disastrous your life may appear at any give moment, you can fix it, when you make a list.

Here’s what lists can do for you.

They’ll:

  • Surprise you. You’ll discover options or solutions you haven’t considered;
  • Trigger memories. Suddenly, you have a topic for what you’re writing, or a “maybe” solution for a business problem. In short, lists mine your creativity;
  • Relieve stress. Any kind of stress. For writers, it’s usually a stress related to writing. Lists will help you to come up with useful ideas for both fiction and nonfiction.

I love lists, because when I’m stressed, I’m prone to procrastination. Lists prevent procrastination. And no, I’m not talking about task lists. (Useful as they may be.) Task lists are a minor form of listing.

You can use lists for everything.

Make a list: use lists for everything

You can use lists for everything. They’re especially useful for making good decisions. Just make a list of pros and cons for a decision you need to make. Still can’t make a decision? There you go: that’s your decision. You’ve decided that you’re not ready to decide.

If you want to avoid procrastination in writing, make a list:

  • Writing a white paper or business plan? Make a list of everything you need to mention. Then make a list of what you should NOT mention.
  • Need to write an email message, and you’re procrastinating? Make a list of everything you want to say. Your list may be just three items long, but you’ve made a start on the message. You’ll be shocked at how quickly (and effectively) you write the message.

Lists make your writing pressure-free, because there’s nothing difficult about making a list.

A big tip: keep your lists. For many years, I tossed out my lists. This was a mistake. Once I kept my lists, I found ideas for new projects buried in the lists.

BTW—are you a stationery nut? Me too. Use one of your blank notebooks for your lists.

I use lists for both fiction and nonfiction; they’re invaluable for fiction.

Make a list: use lists for your fiction

Use lists for everything fiction-related, whether you’re looking for ideas or developing characters.

Lists are especially useful when you’re writing scenes. With every scene, you need to show time and place, as well as who’s in the scene, and why they’re in it: you need to establish the characters in the scene.

Make a list. Start with a “setting” list: use sensory details. What’s your point of view character seeing, hearing, etc. What’s he thinking? You can make a list in just a minute or two, and you’ll be shocked at how it frees your creativity.

You know I’m all about the suspense. Make a list of ways you could surprise readers in the scene.

When you make a list, you’ll surprise yourself too. You always have options, and you can always come up with ideas when you list. Have fun. 🙂


Ready to boost your fiction sales? Start here

Ready to boost your fiction sales? Start here When you write page-turners, word of mouth kicks in. Readers rave about your books. Book bloggers blog about them. Check out The Scene-ery Solution.


Selling Writer Strategies
Cash In On Article Writing

Cash In On Article Writing

eBook: $6.99

In this book, you'll discover a simple strategy I've taught to many writers since 2005. It works, even if you don't want to write articles and sell them. It works for bloggers, copywriters, and novelists. Here's why: it helps you to build a writing habit.

 

More info →
Short Fiction Secrets: How To Write And Sell Short Stories

Short Fiction Secrets: How To Write And Sell Short Stories

eBook: $5.99

Writing short stories is a fun and easy way to get started writing fiction — you can get paid to write, in your spare time. If you're new to writing fiction, you can learn the elements of writing fiction — short stories are much easier to control than longer fiction.

More info →
Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way: How To Write  Novels And Short Stories Readers Love

Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way: How To Write Novels And Short Stories Readers Love

eBook: $5.99

This plotting system works for my students, and it it will work for you. It's the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you're writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily.

 

More info →
Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days
Nonfiction Ebooks Goldmine: Write and Sell Nonfiction Ebooks In 24 Hours Or Less

Nonfiction Ebooks Goldmine: Write and Sell Nonfiction Ebooks In 24 Hours Or Less

eBook: $5.99

You're a writer. You need to make money from your words. What if you could create AND sell a nonfiction book in just a day?

This book will show you how to think outside the box, get creative — and SELL what you create. Making money from your writing can be a real challenge, especially if you're limiting yourself to trading hours for dollars. When you get paid by the hour, even if you're making $200 an hour, you're limited.

More info →
Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

eBook: $5.99

If you've heard that authors are successfully publishing their fiction as serials, and are curious about how it's done, read on. Readers enjoy serial fiction today, as they've done for centuries.

This practical guide helps you to start writing serial fiction, starting today.

 

More info →
Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies

Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies

eBook: $4.99

Try writing in series. Your audience loves to binge on entertainment, whether it's a series on a streaming service, or a series of books. Marketing series fiction and nonfiction is much easier than marketing standalone books.

 

 

 

More info →