Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Productive Writing by Candlelight

I live in the NYC area, so I am without power, water, and connectivity. Thankfully, we have a good library which is now providing me with a way to log in, a charge, and a warm spot to sit. (Actually, I am kneeling so I can have access to a scarce outlet. Sitting isn't supposed to be healthy anyway, and the nuns readied me for marathon kneeling.)

So, with 20/20 hindsight, a few thoughts on how to be productive in primitive circumstances:

  1. Paper and pencil still work. I find them excellent for brainstorming and creating lists of ten reasons why I love my story (and you should, too). Since I have a planned scene to write, I can dig write in (albeit at a slower rate since my handwriting can become impenetrable).
  2. Make a list of questions to beat distractions. What do you need to know about your character? Which puzzles need to be solved? What have you promised in your premise? How will your antagonist react to your protagonists latest attempt at problem-solving? If you get questions down before a blackout, you have a good place to focus your energy.
  3. Rewriting was made for emergencies. (As long as you printed out your text beforehand.) Get your red pen out and attack your manuscript.
  4. Enjoy the adventure. Take notes. Something might be useful later.

Keep safe, folks!


  1. Peter: Hope you get your utilities back soon! =( We got lucky and didn't lose ours. Good luck with NaNo!

  2. Still in the dark, but safe. I've come to love my wood stove (heat), my fire department (water), and my library (electricity and connectivity).