Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ninety Nine Cents Well Spent

I recently read 2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better, Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron.

Most of the information in this book is available free on her blog in various posts (look for the most popular posts).

Even though I had read most of the info on her blog before, I was more than happy to pay a mere 99 cents to have it all in one place on my kindle.

I recommend this book (or the blog posts) to any writer who wants to write faster. Since I don't know any writers who would like to write slower, I'm going to assume that means everyone who writes.

For me, this is the sort of book that I could pick up and flip through every few weeks and find a new bit of info that is helpful for whatever I am trying to write at the time.

When I read the book last week I was in the process of starting another Regency spanking story. I thought the idea was brilliant, but I just couldn't get it going. I was way behind on my writing goals and hated myself for being so unproductive.

Aaron asserts there are three core elements needed to write efficiently: Time, Knowledge and Enthusiasm.

I generally have enough time to write, so for me, the other two items were the problems.

Knowledge---for me this includes two things 1. knowing what I'm going to write when I sit down to write it and 2. since I have been working on another Regency, proper historical knowledge so that I don't have to stop in the middle of a paragraph to look up the rules to a card game or what would be a good name for a minor character.

Generally, I sit down at the computer and think "Okay, what's next?" If I haven't thought about it before I sit down, you can see how there's going to be a fair amount of unproductive time spent asking myself what's next.

The Rachel Aaron method is to stop before you run out of story for the day, then jot down what you're going to write next time.

What? Plan ahead? Think about my next scene for the next few hours until I start writing again?

Enthusiasm:
One of the points that Rachel Aaron makes in her book, and I'm paraphrasing, is if you aren't excited about writing it, maybe it's not the story for you. Write the story that excites you.

Face plant.

Now I have started a different story and I'm excited about it. I was excited about the other idea, but I'm not so sure I had a story in mind. Does that make sense? And I might get excited about that other story another time. Who knows?

She also suggests that you find the nugget of something that excites you about every scene and focus on that. If you aren't excited about writing a particular scene, then why are you writing it.

I hope you'll check out her blog or book and if do, let me know how it works for you.

10 comments:

  1. Just bought this. I think I used to write faster than I do now, but I spend a lot of time thinking. However, I can't get the old adage out of my head, "I can write faster than anyone who can write better, and I can write better than anyone who can write faster." I guess I don't want to write TOO fast. LOL

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    1. There are various schools of thought on how to write. I suppose it's like so many things, find what works best for you.

      Let me know if you find anything worthwhile in the book. It's a quick read.

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  2. Thanks for the tip Celeste. I just downloaded.

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    1. Good! Let me know if you think it's helpful.

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  3. I will be looking to get that! When I will have time....another issue! Thanks for the info.

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    1. Minelle--give it a try. The book is a pretty quick read.

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  4. Thank you so much for this recommendation Celeste. On my way to purchase now!

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    1. Would love to hear what you think of it, Johnny. Is this your first time to comment here? If so, welcome!

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  5. Thanks for the pointer, Celeste! Anything that could speed this particular snail up is worth a go :)

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