a speedy blog
I’ve dedicated the month of April to exploring how to write faster. You can check out the first post on The Speed of Writing HERE, the second post, Writing at the Speed of Rachel HERE, and last week’s post Writing Even Faster, Zoom! Zoom!, HERE.
We’ve covered why we might want to write faster, some simple steps I’ve borrowed from Rachel Aaron including managing writing time in a different way and managing your planning in a different way, but we’ve missed Rachel’s third step: enthusiasm. Rachel found that she wrote faster the scenes that she truly wanted to write. You know, those scenes we writers think of in the car, driving way too fast, and you’re so excited you can’t wait to jot down a few notes, but you have to wait. In fact Rachel had to wait until she’d covered obligatory parts of the book first.
But wait, what obligatory parts of the book?
You know, those introductory things, back story, important plot pieces that if she didn’t write them then the reader wouldn’t get the story or understand the exciting parts. But then Rachel had an epiphany. If she was bored by those obligatory scenes, wouldn’t the reader be bored too? So she stared not writing those boring scenes. She changed them until she was excited about them. And a funny thing happened. Her writing speed increased!
So, how do we do this? How do we decide if a scene is important or how do we even know it’s exciting before we are deep in the bog of writing a boring scene?
This is what I’m going to work on next. I’m going to try to look ahead to the next day’s scenes and see if I’m excited to write them. I’m going to try reading my notes just before bed and lie down and see if I can’t stop plotting and planning the possibilities. And see if I’m excited about the scene and maybe if I am my unconcious mind will work on those scenes during the night so when I sit down to write I’ll know if they’re exciting, and I’ll have imagined all kinds of amazing new fun ideas during my dreams.
Getting excited about her writing is what pushed Rachel Aaron the final push to 10k per day. So maybe it can be the push that gets me to 3k per day.
Now on to some of the tools that have helped me speed up. The first one is Scene and Sequel. We’ve all heard of it, some of you even use it. I first was introduced to it via Margie Lawson, but she pointed out that Randy Ingermanson has summed it up succinctly. Randy Ingermanson is the genius behind the snowflake method and he helps you write easily in his Writing Fiction for Dummies. I’ll leave it to Randy if you want a more detailed summary, but basically it’s deciding if the scene you are writing is a scene or a sequel.
Scene has the following three-part pattern:
A Sequel has the following three-part pattern:
So I break my scenes up into these sections and Ka-Chunk! They fall into place. Now this brings us to the next tool I use, Scrivener. Scrivener is basically a word processor, but unlike Word I can break my chapters up naturally into individual scenes. But another tool of Scrivener are these beautiful sections of the screen that hold a notecard right next to your writing. I write my Scene and Sequel notes there and while I’m writing I know, this is a scene. The Goal is to get the chalice, the Conflict is the Nazi’s want it too, the disaster is just when I think I’ve found it my father is about to die. Okay, this is the scene from an Indiana Jones movie, but you get the picture. My notes keep me on task, but my imagination has room to take flight.
That’s it, that’s how I’ve increased my writing speed and how I plan to increase it still further. I’ll keep you posted. Currently I’m not writing fresh words, I’m working on my rough draft of the second book in the Tales From the Black Court series. But in the fall I plan to be writing book three and I will be reviewing all my notes and diving into my goals of three thousand words per day.
And let me know how your writing speed is going. Are you writing faster? After reading how easy it is, do you want to?
Want to explore some more? Here are some links for you: