We’ve talked before about how much of time-suck research can be and why you should skip over it. However we didn’t really touch on HOW to skip over parts of your story.

If no-one else is ever going to read your manuscript then you can just leave a note for yourself to come back and fill it in whenever you’ve done your research. That note can be as sloppy, ineligible or as nonsensical as you like, because all that matters is that it makes sense to you.

But what do you do if other people are going to be reading your manuscript? There is nothing more frustrating than asking for feedback from a friend and being told that there are some really confusing bits because your friend doesn’t understand the notes that you’ve left for yourself.

So, what’s the solution?

When a journalist writes an article there are often small details that they have yet to research. Rather than waiting to write the article, or using messy reminder notes for themselves, journalists use a standard notation. They simply type the letters ‘TK’ to show what they still need to research.

TK is useful because it’s a letter combo that appears very rarely in English words.

Because of its so uncommon it’s easy to search your document for every instance of TK and you’ll quickly find all the places you need to add in your research. Simply hit control+F to search your document.

As these letters are an industry standard, people will recognise what they mean. Any editor that reads your manuscript will understand that your sentence is not a nonsensical mess, but actually just a reminder to fill in the blanks.

Keep writing! You’ve got this.

For all of our NaNoWriMo posts and tips, click here.