I've had one major goal in writing Four (yes, I finally gave it a working title besides Draft 1):
Cut the crap!
What does that mean?
To illustrate in a far more humorous manner, I refer to this. I am guilty of this and then some. I'm not sure when this habit started. I wrote many successful papers in college, and I actually have quite a little hobby in microfictions, which are by definition SHORT-- yet somehow over time my novel-writing has grown more and more purple and obtuse.
It's a disease, folks, a disease with MRSA-like virulence and staying power. (I only use MRSA as an example because one of my co-workers has been infected since last August with no end in sight, and it's been on my mind lately.)
How can I fight the disease? Well, a good round of editing, for starters, but I'm not to that point yet, geez! I'm still drafting the damn thing.
So, I have two (actually, I have 9 post-its on and around my computer monitor) post-it notes with little messages for me every time I start to stray.
One says this:
JUST DO IT!
MAKE IT GOOD WHEN IT'S FINISHED.
LAY DOWN THE BONES.
And the second says this:
We don't need to know how many teeth he has, what color armpit hair, or how many calories are in his breakfast.
It actually kinda works.
Got any writing mantras/signs/coffee mugs that keep you on the straight-and-narrow?