I have been experimenting with writing speed and word count goals. Lately, there has been a plethora of blog post, podcasts, and books that extol the values of writing quickly or fast drafting.
Write 5000 words an hour! Draft a book in a weekend! A book in a month! Easy in your spare time.
Now I would love to write quality first draft material at this speed, but I had my doubts. Can I even type that fast let alone move a story along in a logical way? I listened, read, researched and I’ve found several ways that really worked. Maybe not 5000 words an hour, but I can write significantly faster if I observe these factors.
Shout out: Many of the best habits I found came from Rachel Aaron’s From 2-10K.
Best book on writing faster—period.
I’ve been trying to do a daily count of 500-1000 words. I noted that some days the words just flowed and others it was like trying to coax out an impacted wisdom tooth. Rachel’s book pointed out that preplanning every scene, using a loose outline to guide your writing, even if it’s just a line or two, helps you have a target to aim for which keeps the prose from meandering.
Another gem I learned is to have a block of time, usually over forty-five minutes, to devote to a writing sprint. Getting back into a story and easing into the skin of the characters takes time and when time is limited the prose becomes stilted.
I’m not saying trying to eke out 250 words in a fifteen minutes sprint is bad. It’s great training for producing on a schedule, but when you give yourself forty-five minutes to two hours, the muse will know he/she has time to come out and play, and the writing flows.
Like a space shuttle taking off uses most of its fuel to get out of the Earth’s atmosphere, writing takes the most energy to get started. Once you find a rhythm and have a target of where you want the scene to go then the words come like a monsoon instead of a spring sprinkle. I highly recommend Rachel’s book (and it’s only 99cents)— a quick read and stuffed full of great tips.
What about you? Do you have a method to get more words faster? I love productivity tips so feel free to share. Or just stop by to say hi.
Oh my word…your meme! Excellent analogy with the space shuttle; I never thought of it that way and it’s perfect.
Thank, Sarah. I lol when I found that one. Thanks for stopping by and reading. I hope the hints help you out. 😀
Hey Pam! How do you feel about a schedule for writing fast? Is it easier to get into the flow if you do it at the same time every day? Or do you find that setting aside blocks of time only 2-3 times a week is more efficient? Or when the inspiration hits?
Yes to a schedule. And yes it makes getting into the flow easier. It’s almost a Pavlovian response when you sit down every day at the same time, your body and mind learn to preform on demand. It’s hard at first, but like running, the first mile is killer. After a few days, then a few weeks you build up your endurance, and a 5K feels like a walk in the park. The same is true (for me at least) in words and word counts. I do find I have higher quality if I have a bigger chunck of time. My muse has time to really work up some great twists. As for inspiration, if I waited on it I would still be writing my first novel. Inspiration usually strikes about the time that I refuse to allow myself to be distracted and force myself off the internet. 😉 I hope that helps. What are you working on right now?
I’ve read Rachel’s 2k to 10K blog post. Would you say the book has more info in it? I’d love to get even faster and even more in a day.
The book is a consolidation of those blog post expanded with additional information. I love having it in a easy format to reference, and she adds more suggestions in the full book. For the price, it’s a bargin. 😀