This is the second in a series of posts on how I am increasing my writing speed. Click HERE to see my first post on The Speed of Writing, or Why Am I Even Thinking of Trying to Write Faster?
Last year I found a post by Rachel Aaron on how she went from writing 2,000 words a day to writing 10,000 words a day. OMG!
I know, it’s crazy, but she did it. And she not only accomplished this amazing feat with consistency she did with a brand new baby!!! (That deserves more than one exclamation point.) I read this blog and tried to put it into practice, but it wasn’t easy. Why? Because the first piece of the puzzle is time management and that is one of my weaknesses. How did she do it? How could she possibly squeeze all that writing into one day?
She really started with three simple steps:
1.Knowledge of What you are Writing Before You Write It
Now I know when all the stars are aligned, the Muse is looking over my shoulder and there is no one in the house, I can write one thousand words in less than an hour. I’ve even hit 3k before in a day. So it seems simple. I can do it. I have done it. But how do you do it day in and day out?
The first thing Rachel did was sit down before she wrote and outline the scene. Take five minutes and try this the next time you sit down to write. It is amazing. I spend more time than Rachel at this, I end up basically writing the whole scene in shorthand and when I sit at the computer all the thoughts I had while writing it pour out. I take three pages of handwritten notes on a scene and turn it into a thousand words. Presto, chango!
It’s that simple.
Sitting down and outlining the scene first helps you get through all the speedbumps before you get there. It’s your map, just like creating an outline is a map. But even pantsers can do this. You don’t have to take much time or spend a whole lot of effort making sure the words are right. That’s not what this is about. This is a rough draft. A fast draft. It’s about thinking ahead to where you will be in your scene before you get there and getting the scene, the dialogue, the action roughed out so when you actually write it, everything flows.
So now I’m writing 1k per hour consistently. No muse required.
One caveat. This is a very rough draft I’m producing. I know the first step for many of you is giving up the perfection of the word and admitting the first draft needs to be done before you can start editing. I do edit. I edit a lot. But in order to get a draft done in two months I do not edit at all. Just write.
Tune in next week to see what Rachel did next and how I am implementing that this month to get my sometimes 2k per day into ten thousand words per week.
Have you ever written 2k per day every day? What did it take to get you to the 2k mark. Did you get farther than that? Can you do it consistently? What helps you?