“Q” is for Quick Writing in the AtoZChallenge

 For today’s AtoZChallenge, the letter “Q” is for Quick Writing

I’m re-running a blog I wrote last July, which dealt with Quick Writing. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

How to write a book faster, 5 quick steps

Quick writing is a discipline you can learn.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. Here are some of the little tweaks I’ve implemented to change my attitude from “I’ll do it tomorrow” to “I can’t wait to write”.

What I’ve done to increase my quick writing:


Attitude is everything when it comes to quick writing. There’s nothing sweeter than being in “the zone” when writing.

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 on this step; it’s a sign on the side of the road, not a detailed map.

Sticking to the larger outline.

I outline on index cards (both real and as Scrivener notes), and I try to stay true to the plan. 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 the first draft 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’re so inclined,  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.

Employ quick writing because there are other books waiting to be written.

Happy (and fast) writing!

{2017 Cheryl returning from my 2016 blog—insert Twilight Zone music here}

These tips will show you how to implement quick writing into your life. I’m living proof it works. When I wrote the above blog, I was working on Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf. I wrote 57K words in the month of July, 2016, and published it in March, 2017. If I, who used to write a novel a year, can write one in a month, so can you!

Tomorrow’s #AtoZChallenge centers on the letter “R”.

#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in the month of April.

#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in the month of April.

If you’d like to continue reading my entries in the AtoZChallenge* and to receive my blog posts, please use the entry form to the right. Also sign up for my newsletter, and you’ll receive a FREE copy of my short story, Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Alien.

Finally, if you know of someone who would enjoy learning more about quick writing, use the buttons on the left to share this post.

*#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in April (except on Sundays). Participants blog every day around a theme of their choosing, in alphabetical order. Throughout the month of April, I’ll share tips, links, and insights I’ve learned in my writing career.




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7 Responses to “Q” is for Quick Writing in the AtoZChallenge

  1. Having a plan is useful I .Otherwise we get upto 10 different things.

  2. Kalpanaa says:

    These are very useful tips. I agree that the first draft is the vomit draft. I find write now, edit later produces some of my best writing. The idea of setting a daily goal of an easily reachable wordcount is the best advice.

  3. Neha says:

    Wow! Such great tips and that’s some serious benchmarks with words a day!

  4. Anmol Rawat says:

    Quite useful tips certainly. That’s what I have been doing with my a to z theme. Attitude is the thing I want to bet on coz yes, tgat has helped me get so far in the challenge.

  5. admin says:

    Attitude is everything! Good luck with the rest of the challenge, we’re almost at the end!

  6. admin says:

    I wish I could have great words a day, but I have to break for editing and social media. It feels wonderful, though, when I’m on a writing high.
    Thanks for visiting!

  7. Debbie D. says:

    Excellent tips. Unfortunately, my OCD self has never been able to master the ‘no editing’ edict, so writing can be painfully slow. Something to try and rectify, once again!

Comments are closed.