...while writing my first draft.
1. It is far too easy to get very bogged down in a section you know isn't working as it should. Move on and come back to it at the editing stage. 80,000 words is an achievable target, but not if you constantly rewrite the same part.
2. Some of my best writing has come early in the morning, when nobody else is up. I've never followed Julia Cameron's idea of morning pages, mainly for practical reasons...I like my sleep and I have children to get off to school. There simply was never time. But recently I've been naturally waking early and switching on the laptop. Often the words have flowed and have been better than the sections over which I had laboured.
3. If a scene comes to you out of sequence, write it anyway. I woke up one morning with one scene very clear in my mind. I expanded and wrote it straight away in a separate document, then found it provided all the motivation I needed for my hero and powered the rest of the plot.
4. The characters really do tell you their story. I started off knowing the beginning and end of the plot and a couple of turning points in the middle. The rest came organically as the characters developed further.
5. It's good to fall in love with your main characters. It brings them alive.