Today’s the first day of “The Smack Dab.” Writers: Are you running?

The Smack Dab – Day 1

Note: During “The Smack Dab” many of the blog posts and writing tips will become “gated,” viewable only by members of this site. Want to join this site? Membership is free and grants full access to all content.

IMAGE: The Smack Dab logo.

February 14 is Valentine’s Day. It’s also smack dab in the middle of the 90-Day Write on the 85K Writing Challenge. We’re officially entering the “halfway zone” between January 1st and March 31st!

(The official end of the 90-day challenge to write 85,000 words is March 31st but some writers will use April’s 30-Day Finish cycle to finish up.)

Today is Tuesday, February 7, 2017, the first day of “The Smack Dab.”

What’s “The Smack Dab”?

It’s an optional “challenge within a challenge” for writers on the 85K Writing Challenge. Designed as a fun, “extra” event to help you push through the middle of your novel, and the middle of the challenge to write 85,000 words in 90 days.

Here’s How It Works:

For 14 days in February (seven days before Valentine’s Day and seven days after), writers on “The Smack Dab” will run faster and write harder, striving to write at least one chapter per day, for 14 days.

Not happy with your word count at the halfway mark of the 85K Writing Challenge? Run “The Smack Dab” and watch your word count numbers soar.

Pencils ready? Let’s do this thing.

Pencils ready? Let's do this thing. Write 14 chapters in 14 days. #85K90 Click To Tweet

Smack Dab Trail Markers

As you write during the 14-day running of “The Smack Dab,” your trail will be blazed each day with one of 14 writing tips, each trail marker tip addressing a different aspect of writing the middle of your novel. When this trail marker appears – you’ll find your writing tip.

IMAGE: The Smack Dab trail marker sign - a metal sign, red with a white heart symbol, by a trail in New Mexico.

Smack Dab Trail Marker Tip #1: Escalate.

Today’s trail marker writing tip for writing in the smack dab middle of your novel?

Escalate.

As you approach the middle of your novel, be aware of the need to escalate the action to prevent your plot from moving laterally, or worse, “sagging” in the middle.

Smack Dab Trail Marker Tip #1: Escalate. Avoid writing a middle that moves laterally or sags. #85K90 Click To Tweet

Don’t lay down a series of events, one after the other, if they don’t also rise in action. Lateral steps have a place in a novel, but it’s risky to place them in the middle. Avoid writing scenes that feel as if the plot is moving sideways or along a flat surface.

Write scenes that raise the action and the stakes.

Some tips:

  1. Use tension to escalate.
  2. Use a plot twist to escalate.
  3. Use a reversal to escalate.
  4. Use a surprise to escalate.

Use whatever technique or device necessary to amp UP the middle of your novel. Mid-point in your story should feel as if the plot is CLIMBING toward a goal, a point, a summit.

List of ideas and #writingtips for writing the middle of your novel... Today's #85K90 tip? Escalate. Click To Tweet

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NOTES FOR MEMBERS OF THIS SITE

Note: During the 14-day “Smack Dab” many of the blog posts will become “gated,” viewable only by members of this site. Not a member of this site? Join the 85K Writing Challenge. Membership is free. Members have complete access to all of the features of this site.

Today’s Assignment for Writers on the 85K Writing Challenge:

1. Write 1,500 words or approximately six pages.

2. Say hello to fellow members HERE in the members-only Forum. If you are looking for something (e.g. a critique group, an editor, a beta reader, etc.), indicate that while saying hello. Take a moment to read the hellos of fellow members. Maybe they’re looking for the same thing you are. If you haven’t done so already, consider adding a few User Tags to your Member Profile Page so fellow members know what you are seeking, and what you can offer.

3. Did you report your word counts yesterday? If not, you can do so HERE in the Monday, February 6, 2017 Word Count Report forum. While there, consider leaving a few words of encouragement to fellow 85K Writers.

4. If you’re on Twitter, tell us how you’re doing using the #85K90 hashtag. Take a peek at the conversation happening with the #85K90 hashtag. If you want, throw a few retweets out for your fellow 85K Writers.

5. Our Facebook Page is Facebook.com/85K90. Our private Facebook group is facebook.com/groups/85K.90days/.

Today’s Assignments for Writers on “The Smack Dab”:

1. Write one complete chapter today. The length of that chapter depends on your story, not any specific word or page count goal. Strive to build a complete “whole” chapter, from start to finish.

2. Plan for the writing of tomorrow’s chapter so that you can stay on track for writing 14 chapters in 14 days while “running” February’s Smack Dab – smack dab in the middle of the 90-Day Write on the 85K Writing Challenge.

3. As you write, apply the Smack Dab Trail Marker Tip #1: Escalate.

– Plan for escalation.
– Use escalation techniques while writing.
– Deliver the experience of rising action for your readers.

IMAGE: The Smack Dab trail marker sign - a metal sign, red with a white heart symbol, by a trail in New Mexico.

 

Join us tomorrow:
– The Smack Dab – Day 2
– Smack Dab Trail Marker Tip #2

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Julie Valerie

Julie Valerie

85K Writing Challenge: Embracing the writing life by advancing the practice of productive writing from first word to first reader.

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