Project: Write Faster
I’m tired of how slowly I write. Now, while I know that everyone has their own process and I need to trust my process and all that, I really feel like I could maybe increase the pace a little.
I know I get distracted and stuck staring at the page and I know that at my best, such as on retreat, when I am focused enough to work faster, I’m also happier with what I write. So imagine my delight when this article by Rachel Aaron on “How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day.”
Could it work? Well, several people on Twitter said it did and that, in fact, outlining scenes had sped their work up quite a bit. A couple of other people said they’d like to try it.
Now, anyone who’s read my “How I Wrote” posts listing all my actual word counts knows that 2K a day is stretching it for me most days. But I am really interested in the idea that maybe I can speed up. If I could reliably write 2K a day, that would be amazing. If I could reliably write 3K, I would be incandescent with joy. So my goal isn’t to get to 10K; it’s just to see if I can speed up my process.
A few other writers are committed to giving it a try too in the coming week, so I hope to have a round-up of results for you around the middle of the month (not this weekend, but the weekend of the 16th.) Or if you want to look for posts going up on the 15th, the following writers said they were going to try it and check in: Nova Ren Suma, Beth Revis, Stephanie Kuehnert, Corrine Jackson, and Scott Tracey. (Did I get everybody? If I missed you, let me know.)
The thing I am most interested in right now is trying to plan out the scenes for the rest of the chapter I’m writing. Although I’ve outlined with moderate success (very moderate, in that I change them lots) before, this is different process in the sense that I only have to outline a single scene or two ahead of where I am — although I have to do so in greater detail than I usually do when I am plotting the overall shape of the book. I am going to spend tonight trying to do that and see how things go tomorrow and Thursday (Wednesday I am going to be in New York, signing at BEA and at Books of Wonder).
The thing is, the idea of sketching out the shape of a scene before writing it makes sense. My husband is a painter and I am constantly hassling him for jumping into paintings without sketching enough. Invariably, when he does that, he realizes in the middle that he wants to change something and winds up having to paint over parts of the original or even starting over. Why I never applied that to writing scenes, I have no idea, but I feel a little bit silly about it. And I am going to feel even sillier if it works, but I’ll be really happy too.
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- jonnyskov said: Very curious to know how it goes! Good luck!
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