Charlotte Nash on Project Based Writing

So Charlotte Nash came across my radar last year, courtesy of some recommendations people made for emerging writers who’d be a good fit for panels at GenreCon. Unfortunately I missed the panels she was on – curse of being an organiser instead of a punter – but all feedback suggests that Charlotte was a) very smart, and b) knows her stuff. My own experience with her written work hasn’t been as in-depth as I’d like, but pretty much everything I’ve seen supports the smart-and-knows-her-shit theme.

Her recent blog post, Project Based Writing, came about in response to my ranting about writing advice last week. Charlotte isn’t a write-every-day-and-hit-2.5k writer either, but her discussion of the issue offers up an interesting alternative. Here’s a snippet:

Engineering work is often project-based – a well-defined “deliverable” by a certain date: a tunnel, a bridge, a rocket. And since, to my mind, a piece of writing (a novel, story, blog, whatever) is a fairly clearly defined outcome, project-based is how I approach stories, too. It wouldn’t be particularly helpful if a construction site’s management policy was We’ll build stuff every day (jokes aside, many an engineered project is effectively managed to deliver on time or early).

It’s an apt metaphor, I think, and the full blog post is pretty damn awesome. It’s a great resource if you’re unable to write every day, or trying to get a project done in a limited time frame (I kinda wish I’d read this before I attempted the novella diary). Worth checking out, especially when you consider that Charlotte’s approach got her first novel drafted in three weeks, then revised and ready for submission less than two months later.

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