My friendslist on LiveJournal, which consists primarily of fiction writers, has been all abuzz recently about this post by Rachel Aaron:
Now, as someone who would be thrilled to be producing 2,000 words a day on a regular basis, this gave me an instant case of wordcount envy. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do 10,000 words a day without an actual gun to my head. But Rachel’s tips are well worth exploring. Read the article for the full scoop, but in short, her advice boils down to:
- Plan before you write. Writing is the most time-consuming way to discover that you’ve got the sequence of events wrong in your scene, or that you have chosen a really dull way of moving the scene forward. She suggests quickly writing a truncated description of the scene first. Not writing, but noting down what you will write.
- Measure your writing. Tracking her output helped Rachel determine what times of day, locations, and circumstances resulted in the greatest productivity.
- Get excited. Rachel’s biggest wordcounts happened on days she was writing the scenes she was the most excited about writing. The ones she was practically chortling over writing, ahead of time. Her worst days were scenes she wasn’t excited about. Which led to an a-ha! moment for her: “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. “
There’s a lot more in her post. Check it out, then stop back here and discuss.