how to write fast

Quick writing is a discipline you can learn.

 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

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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Celebrate!

Celebrate!

How to write like a demon. 57K in 34 days.

 

Wow!

I’ve finished the first draft of my WIP (work in progress for those not in the know). I set a goal of August 1st to complete it, and I did. The time zone used is fuzzy. Okay, I borrowed one hour and forty-three minutes from August, but I wrote 57K words from June 28-August 1.

The story of my story:

Two years ago, I started a tale of Snow White. The reason remains lost to me, but I abandoned it at 9900 words. Outlined, short blurbs written for what should happen, but abandoned. I pulled it out in June, dusted it off, added more to the outline and began writing on June 28th. I expected to complete it at 40-45K, but the scenes kept growing. My final word count is 67,653. Some of that will be deleted. I’ve already marked two scenes because they wandered away from me.

Writing fast is a high. I set a 1K goal for each day and met it for all but three days. Two days were spent with family (two toddlers = no energy to write) and one day I vegged.

How did I write 57K in 34 days? Internal editor banished. Eyes closed. Music in headphones at times. Heavy use of xxxx for “look this up later” and “I don’t have time for the perfect word”. ** for “I might have used this word six times in the past two paragraphs, check later”. In fact, checking later is one of the keys to racking up the words. It’s an incredible high.

The next step is letting it simmer while I turn to some editing chores I’ve neglected. The Dearly Departed Dating Service is with my beta readers and cover artist. I’m combing the first draft (I write fairly clean) for obvious errors (using chose instead of chosen). When I receive my edits and covers, stay tuned for a release announcement.

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How to write a book faster, 5 quick steps

The key to writing faster

The key to writing faster

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”.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

Check out my Amazon page at: http://amzn.to/1PWDKND

 

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