the official website of
Bob Nailor

The Writer's Stream

Each day a writer will wake up and like any other work person, go to work which means sitting at the desk, or where ever it is they wish to work that day, before the computer or laptop, and start typing.

Exactly how does a writer put the text to the proverbial paper?


Word thought stream.

In the back of the writer's mind is a small projector which flashes either images or full-blown scenes which are then put down for all prosperity. Well, that is, after a major amount of editing later.

Sometimes a writer will only see a small segment of the whole plan and need to slowly explore the possibilities. Think of it as a maze. You see the entrance. From that point on, it is trial and error to get to the finish line.

Oh, wouldn't that be nice? Start at the beginning and work toward the end? It doesn't normally happen that way. Usually a writer is dropped off in the maze somewhere -- just a couple of corners from the entrance or end or sometimes in the middle or anywhere else within the maze. The only problem is - the writer doesn't know where, in the maze, s/he is. What fun exploring.

OR, the writer is given a log where, hidden within the bark encrusted fifty foot tall redwood tree trunk, the writer must whittle it down to discover that small trophy about the size of an Oscar Award.

This is what word though stream is all about. A writer working his or her way through a giant sea of words, finding in this morass just the perfect word for the reader to grasp onto and enjoy.

What does this mean? Simple. A writer can type "Andrea opened the car door. She slide across the back seat to the middle." Or the writer can type "Andrea opened the car's back door, then scooted across to the middle."

Both are correct but one is more succinct. The stream could or would be the first example while in the final version, the last sentence more than likely would make the cut.

The stream is to get the words written, not necessarily in their final version, but in a rough, image-driven, rush to the end.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is about such a method. It is about getting 50,000 words written in 30 days. It is about letting your mind free and allowing to get the words, the concepts and ideas, down to go back over at a later date.

DID YOU CATCH THE CAVEAT? go back over at a later date.

A writing stream is all about getting the text out of your mind and either on paper or cyber-storage of a disk. It is not about making sure you have exact, right word. You want the instant image recorded. This is the writing process. The editing process is going back checking for the correct word choice. It is much easier to go back and add "Hell's inferno of mesmerizing flames licking the building's walls." On the fly, in the heat of the writing moment "licking flames of Hell" will suffice.

Also, since NaNoWriMo only requires 50k and most novels should be in the 65-95k size, taking those 4 words and expanding to 9 words helps to extend the word count.

Again, word thought stream is about getting the words down. It is about getting the idea from the brain to paper. A writer who creates a work with 45-60k words in 30 days can use the next 6-9 months getting those words to be more engaging.

Yes, a good writer can easily produce a novel each year. Some can even write two novels a year.

Learn to use word thought stream.

  Click to add a comment - say something!


While I am at the stream is it okay to cast a net or does it have to be open water for that activity?

Can I bring a pole?

This is much like a lecture I used to give to budding Tarot Readers right after we finished the topic of ethics.

One last question, did you design this website?

Now, I'll try to pass the vision test so you can approve this.

See you Sunday at the Grill. :)
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Sally. Toss your net anytime. As to the website design - I did it all - for better or worse. And yes, see you Sunday at the Writer's Chatroom.
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