Thursday, February 4, 2016

How to Write Faster

I'll admit it. I'm a very slow writer, as evidenced by the fact that it's been almost year-and-a-half since I published my last book. (I promise the next one will be good. I'm working hard to get it ready.)

But I am getting faster, and I wanted to let you know a few of the things that have helped me get my next project off to a faster start:

1. Get organized. For me that means I need to figure out the plot before I start writing. Two resources that have helped me with that are the snowflake method for outlining and Dan Wells's youtube videos on 7 point story structure. Click on the links to see for yourself. These two tools have helped me immensely this year.

2. Make sure you're excited about every scene you write. Author Rachel Aaron taught me that a key part of being able to write quickly is enthusiasm. If you're dying to get to the computer, you're more likely to write fast. Read her awesome blog post about it here. (Believe it or not, being organized also helps you to get excited about what you're going to write next.)

3. Avoid perfectionism. This is a big one for me. I've always heard that I need to quit editing myself when I draft, but it's just so hard not to. One tool that's really helped me is my Alphasmart 3000. It's a little word processor that's more like a big calculator than a laptop. I write on it when I'm drafting scenes, and then I download what I wrote into my regular computer. I'll bet you're thinking I'm crazy right now. I mean, the screen is soooo small, isn't it? Well, that's one of the benefits. You can't edit much of what you write, so you just have to keep going forward. Plus, it's cheap if you buy one used, it runs on two AA batteries, and the batteries last for months.


4. Write with Other People. Writing with my critique group helps motivate me to set deadlines for myself. We require ourselves to submit ten pages every week. Other people I know do sprints together online on facebook or twitter.

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