Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Apostate 1.3

     What did I learn from Rachel Aaron; 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better? Did it help me write faster?

     I learned that Rachel's method for writing faster and better stands on three legs: 1) knowledge, 2) time, and 3) enthusiasm. I learned that this works for me, too.

     Knowledge means knowing what you are going to write before you write it. Think of this as a map to get you from here to there. If you want to go someplace you have not gone before, do you strike out randomly or do you consult a map?
     Rachel called this an outline. My idea of outline is formal, and I cannot get that rigid structure out of my head. I use what I call story notes. For example, these are my story notes for the first chapter I will write today:

[--. 25Oct2012. J sends 4th installment to Deidre.
[26Oct2012. Friday. Jane's stitches removed at Hospital de las Mujeres. Maria acts as interpreter. Doctor impressed with how well foot healed; take pictures for Jane's medical file. Maria copies the medical file including pix. 

     These may be meaningless to you, but they are enough to prompt me to write 1,600 to 2,000 words.

     For me, this means tracking the time I spend editing and writing. And tracking my daily word count.
     Last installment -- Apostate 1.2 -- I inserted the part of my spreadsheet that tracked my editing and showed how I reduced my daily editing time from an hour to 20 minutes. To see it, click the link, 'cause bullying a readable spreadsheet into this blog is such a pain that I am not going to do it again.
     The purpose of tracking these things is to improve efficiency. It works for me. Yesterday I had the idea to write in bed. I set up my laptop on a little table and sat there propped up with comfy pillows around me. Word count for the day: 848. Before that I cranked out 1,600 words an hour.
     I won't write in bed anymore.

     Stated in one sentence, are you excited about what you write?
     When I wrote Heart of Stone (see sidebar),  the passion for the book drove me to the keyboard and chained me there each day until darkness fell.
     You know what?
     I don't feel that burning passion for Navel of the Moon.
     Oh, I like it well enough. I think it is a good story. But it does not burn within me with the white hot passion of Heart of Stone.
     This may sound funny, but bear with me: As a pantser, I did not have enough enthusiasm to finish Navel of the Moon. As a plotter, I do.
     What I mean is that plotting moves me forward. That movement generates enthusiasm and that enthusiasm spurs more movement. With pantsing, enthusiasm generates movement. It is a chicken and egg dilemma. This one I solved by plotting.
     For me, the benefit is that it frees my subconscious to surprise me with little twists along the way. And sometimes big twists. Like the ending that hit me at lunch last Friday.

     Did it help me write faster? 
     Swapping pantsing for my interpretation of Rachel's method of plotting during April NaNoWriMo Camp changed my daily word count from 723 to 1,635.
     07 May 2015 I clocked 3,391 words in 5 hours.
     I need to write 1) to become consistent and 2) to reach my goal of 4,000 words a day. I have confidence both of those will come with time and practice.

     This is what I took from WF,WB. YMMV.

     Next time, Apostate 2.0.

Happy trails.

Links to the posts in this series:
Apostate 1.2
Apostate 1.1
Apostate 1.0
Apostate 0.2
Apostate 0.1

Links to the books:
Rachel Aaron; 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better
Libbie Hawker; Take Off Your Pants!

Links to the authors' websites:
Rachel Aaron
Libbie Hawker


  1. That's great antares. I was really thinking about what I would need to do to hit 4k. It would definitely take a story skeleton so as not to lose my path or meander around too much. After that it would take elbow grease and time. I hope you reach 4k a day. For me that would be 5-6 hours of PRODUCTIVE time. So like, write an hour or two and take a break. Then hit it again. Several sessions like that. I've hit 5k before and that's how I did it. I've never maintained that pace.

    1. Meaning I've never maintained that pace for more than a day.