02 November 2011

Speed Writing

So most of you probably know NaNoWriMo started yesterday. I’ve done a couple of these… two NaNoWriMos and two BuNoWriMos, so four books in all. I love this way of writing.

You see, I wrote my first book in about 2 ½ years… and it was over 200,000 words… I am a PRO at thinking every side story merits exploration… yes. I am a tangent queen.

And when I was writing like that, I completely disbelieved I had the kind of style that was ‘a novel in a month’ compatible. I thought… heck… I’m a marathoner…

But in 2009 that ‘plugging away’ wasn’t really working for me and I got an prequel idea for a book I’d been trying to write, and I managed to write my second completed book in 7 weeks… it made me give NaNoWriMo a second thought.

I thought I COULD and I DID.

And I learned something… Stuff I thought I’d share.

Benefits of Writing Fast

1) It is easier to notify family and neglect obligations for a concentrated period of time.
2) The momentum is terrific for word count.
3) You are forced to ignore mistakes and therefore don’t get BOGGED in them.
4) The biggest, for me, is you are forced to stick to the main story line. Side plots that really compliment the story can be added in later.

Benefits of the Group Activity

1) Support
2) Adrenaline
3) WIDGETS erm…
4) Externally imposed deadlines can be more motivating than those we set ourselves.

Tricks for Success

1) The most obvious is DO NOT EDIT WHILE YOU GO! I mean if you want to tweak WHILE you write and can’t help yourself, maybe a word or typo here and there doesn’t hurt, but DON’T go back the next day and reread and fix—you don’t have time.

2) Front-load your word count goals: Stuff comes up. It ALWAYS comes up. There will be a day or two somewhere you need to address an emergency. So while theoretically you can win at 1,667 words a day, you really want to write a little faster so you are a day or two ahead. ALSO, for me, I slow down mid story, so I frontload so that at the end I only have to hit about 1000-1200 a day.

3) For me, a plan helps. BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA… oh, I love a plan. That is not to say I always stick to my plan, but I keep trying to veer back to it so I don’t write myself into a corner.

It's not too late you know... you are only one day behind, and it's easy peasy to make up that much... 1,724 words a day would get you there...  Come on! All the cool kids are doing it!


Jan Morrison said...

No! Be quiet you witchy woman! I am not nano-ing. In fact I'm no-nano-ing. Gawwwwd. I did have fun but the mess of it - just doesn't work with my no planning style of writing. Oh, I like what I have so far on Earth Bound (my nano) but I have SO MUCH FREAKING WORK to do to fix it up. So no no no.

Christine Murray said...

I love Nano too! Definitely forces me to focus on my story and resist procrastination.

Sarah Allen said...

Even though I'm not doing NaNo, I need to get my butt cracking on the novel I am working on, and these ideas totally help. Thanks!

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Kit Courteney said...

No, no, no!

(Organised and talented) people like you, give (disorganised and rubbish) people like me insecurities!

Great post though :)

Unknown said...

I will not even lie to myself and say I will try. I just can't write like that. However, I will be cheering all those participating in Nanowrimo. Woohoo!

*does a virtual cartwheel*

Hart Johnson said...

Jan-I suppose if it seems too messy, it seems too messy... For me, somehow, it goes better.

Christine-YAY! Right? teehee

Sarah-excellent that some of the tricks ring true!

Kit-I fell off my chair laughing at the idea that I'm organized--I am SO NOT. I only have to pretend for a month though, this way!

Chary-We appreciate your support!

Meera said...

You make it sound exciting! And I did do three novels in six months once (for my pleasure). But to make a public commitment!