Filling the Gaps: Writing Tips and Tricks

Christmas Dinner by Shoujawp – Creative Commons Licensing/Wikipedia Commons Photos

If you are reading my writing tips post today, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for helping me through the rough times, celebrating with me during the great times, and playing with me every Tuesday night!

You are amazing people with incredible talent and I hope you never let that go.

It is also almost the end of National Novel Writing Month so I have a very quick little writing tip for you.

How are you doing on your goals? Are you struggling to catch up, like me, or have you long ago sailed past 50,000 and now just trying to wrap up your story? Or have you gone even further and finished your story so you can now sit back and enjoy Thanksgiving/Hanukah or anything else you might celebrate this time of year?

One of the things I’ve noticed tends to slow me down considerably is doing exactly what I tell others not to do when trying to write quickly – going back and filling in some of the gaps. I keep looking over the table, er, manuscript, trying to find those missing elements that need to be included. However, that’s what comments and notes are for.

My biggest issue with that is I have to interrupt my flow to hit the comment button. Something you can do if you don’t feel like lifting your fingers off the keyboard to add a comment (and you want the information you plan on putting in the comment to count toward your goal) is to add a square bracket, like this [, add your commentary, end the statement with a – tag]. Ending the statement that way, or in some consistent way that makes sense to you, means you can later do a search for those – tag] endings and fill in the gaps when you’re ready.

This can work for something as simple as a name [come up with something catchy and sinister at the same time – tag], or as complicated as a page long grocery list of what you want to have happen in this scene even though you don’t really feel like writing it all out right now.

Good luck on your way to the finish line and even if you don’t make it by the deadline, at least you’ll be a lot further ahead than you were on Nov. 1.

Wherever you are, I hope you had a moment to sit back and enjoy everything you have, whether it is a little or a lot. I hope you are happy and warm and well-fed.

Wendy Strain

My entire life is full of writing and creativity. Whether copywriting for exciting new projects, crafting web content for creative companies, ghostwriting, editing, coaching, or exploring my own imagination as a fiction writer, I am constantly engaged in stretching boundaries and exploring possibilities.

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