How to write a book faster, 5 quick steps
If you want to know how to write a book faster, you’re in good company. All writers want to write faster. All of them. Even the ones who seem to release a book every other month <cough> Nora Roberts <cough>.
What are some tricks to increase word count (besides the cliché “write every day”)?
I’ve written a lot lately (approx. 15K in 10 days), and I’m not on drugs, caffeine or other stimulants. I’ve implemented a combination of little tweaks that have changed my attitude from “I’ll do it tomorrow” to “I can’t wait to write”.
- Attitude, mentioned above. There’s nothing sweeter than being in “the zone” when writing. Some of the things I’ve implemented are:
- Knowing what I’m going to write. I’m not a pantser. Generally, I know what I’m writing, but I’ve set aside a few minutes before each writing session to jot down what will happen; how it does/does not affect the character’s growth; how it moves the plot forward. I don’t spend a lot of time, it’s a sign on the side of the road, not a detailed map.
- Sticking to the larger outline I have on index cards (both real and as Scrivener notes). Knowing where your story is going between page one and “the end” is critical in writing efficiently. Pantsing and feeling out the story may be your preferred method, but to be a success, you have to write and publish often.
- Take a break. Your mileage may differ, but I find a short break after an hour of writing is the best mix.
- Remember, it’s a 1st draft. It’s okay to cheat. I call it the vomit draft. Throw up on the page and clean it up later.
- Use xxx as a placeholder for something that needs research later. Every trip to the internet delays my writing. It’s easier to write “xxxtown#1” than to stop and look up the perfect name.
- Also, (insert whatever here). As in (insert sword fight/sex scene here) or (figure out how to get them from point A to B later). I don’t use this tool often, but it’s nice to have it available.
- Write with my eyes closed. Nothing stops momentum more than words underlined in red.
- No editing. Waaaaay harder than it sounds, but I try not to go back and start playing wordsmith.
- Know when to write. My optimum time is 2-4 p.m. and anytime after 6 p.m. If you have to, you can go all spreadsheet guru and track when your most efficient times to write are, but you probably already know.
- On that note, do keep a spreadsheet of your scene and daily word counts. It’s nice to know my high in the last ten days was 2168. It gives me a target.
- Set a minimum daily word count. At the moment, mine is 1000. It’s an easy target, I feel great once I pass it, and it gives me momentum to continue.
- Have an accountability buddy. One of the last things I do before I shut down my computer at night is to email my accountability buddy with my daily word count. It might make her jealous, it might prompt her to get her butt in the chair, but it gives me an incentive to continue writing. I don’t want to disappoint her, and I don’t want to disappoint myself.
These tips will show you how to write a book faster. I’m living proof.
My current WIP is “Snow White and the 8th Dwarf”. It’s something I started and put away and am now readdressing. My target goal is 40-45K (I’m at 25K), and my target date to have the 1st draft complete is July 31st. Is it ambitious? You bet. Using the tools and techniques listed above, I’m confident I can finish it. Why? Secret #6-there are other books waiting to be written.
Happy (and fast) writing!
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