Writing efficiently

Recently I found my way to this blogpost out of sheer curiosity. After all, what technique could one possibly use to write 10,000 words in a day?

Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait.

You’re done? Awesome.

Basically her technique boiled down to three things. A detailed outline of what she wanted to write that day, a large chunk of time in which to write, and excitement.

I don’t have a lot of time in which to write, but I can do the outline. But what about the excitement?

She said,

Those days I broke 10k were the days I was writing scenes I’d been dying to write since I planned the book. They were the candy bar scenes, the scenes I wrote all that other stuff to get to. By contrast, my slow days (days where I was struggling to break 5k) corresponded to the scenes I wasn’t that crazy about.

This was a duh moment for me, but it also brought up a troubling new problem. If I had scenes that were boring enough that I didn’t want to write them, then there was no way in hell anyone would want to read them. This was my novel, after all. If I didn’t love it, no one would.

Fortunately, the solution turned out to be, yet again, stupidly simple. Every day, while I was writing out my little description of what I was going to write for the knowledge component of the triangle, I would play the scene through in my mind and try to get excited about it. I’d look for all the cool little hooks, the parts that interested me most, and focus on those since they were obviously what made the scene cool. If I couldn’t find anything to get excited over, then I would change the scene, or get rid of it entirely. I decided then and there that, no matter how useful a scene might be for my plot, boring scenes had no place in my novels.

That’s all she did. She rethought every scene until she found something to get excited about.

I’ve been trying that, and I am so pumped to get writing. I hope I can keep it up for the whole story, and I can’t wait to see if it works in editing.

The more I work on Spacetime, the more I see how unprepared for publication it is. So many things need to be beefed up. I might just tear it to bits and rewrite it in such a way that I’m excited about every scene.

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2 thoughts on “Writing efficiently

  1. Well you know that is how Stephen King said to do it. I think about doing it to my blog all of the time. Just deleting it and starting over. This time I think I would try for less piffle. 🙂

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  2. Congrats on what you’ve learned!

    Yep, being excited about your work is indeed mucho importante. Writing should always be fun – because you really do want to pass that energy to the readers. Also, I think allowing the characters in the story to have their own senses of humor gives them added depth and coping skills… And can allow the plot to twist in interesting ways. Anyway. Remember it like this: what’s fun, gets done. That basic idea is probably actually true for any kind of work – not just writing. I’ve found this concept to be useful when cleaning, even. My little niece doesn’t always like to clean her room – but if the chore is presented as a game, she’ll play. *shrugs*

    Still… Tearing a story up… That takes courage, even if you keep a backup copy. And you have to be careful to avoid getting stuck in vicious editing-but-not-actually-moving-forward-anymore cycles. Those can get ugly and depressing – I should know. I’ve just managed to kick myself out of such a slump. Wouldn’t recommend it. Wrote the same chapter like thirty different times, was so hung up on certain details that I about lost the big picture. Glad to be out of that mode. Want to actually finish these stories someday. That way, I can start writing others. =F ;D

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