Here’s how I use it: Every time I’m in the middle of my writing groove, or writing zone, or mojo, or whatever you want to call it, I don’t want to stop writing to look up a fact or other important information. With the Internet as a massive distraction, stopping to look up anything on Google is just ASKING to get distracted and not go back to writing for a long time. Countless hours of precious writing time has been lost from me thinking, “Hmm, I wonder what type of squirrel is indigenous to southern Texas,” and then innocently Googling the information only to find myself in a Twitter chat two hours later.
When you’re in the writing zone, GOOGLE IS BAD!
So here’s what I do now. I just write whatever I want and put an asterisk next to it as a reminder, and then keep on writing. It allows you to bookmark the place you need to go back and do some research for and lets you keep writing for now.
For example, in Overpowered, I currently have a sentence that looks like this:
Nyx is a year* older than I am.
Writer confession here: Nyx is a side character and I have no clue how old he is. I think I made him about a year older than my MC. So instead of wasting precious time stopping the flow of writing to go look it up, I just left an asterisk behind as a reminder and I kept working on the chapter.
Now when the first draft is done and I’m ready for my first pass of editing, I simply do a search for * and then correct all of the things that need correcting. Leave the pointless fact checking for the editing stage and allow your brain to be free to write when you’re writing.
Other helpful uses:
- Forgetting a character’s last name, just type “Susie *lastname”
- eye color, height, hair color of characters? Put “She had *brown eyes”
- Need a name for your made up coffee shop? use “*CoffeeShop”