I Wrote 9000 Words This Weekend

I tell you, because I wrote 7000 words on Saturday, and I think that’s a personal record.

And also, I am now 100% caught back up to where I wanted to be (2K a day, on track to finish November 25), so that makes me feel a lot less stressed. Especially since I’ve remembered the small, mobile ones have Thanksgiving Break all next week and hence will need supervision.

I know there are people out there who routinely write 5-10K words in a day, and more power to them. I’m going to assume they typically have more actual writing time available to them, as well that they probably write faster than me as well.

I’m pretty comfortable in the 2-5K range (and, indeed, when I went for 100K for Nano 2011, I was averaging 4-5K a day) during Nano, and, well, in general. But I’m also not generally in a place where I need to be writing faster than that either. I suppose at some point in time I may be trying to put out more books in a year, and then things will change.

(In case you’re wondering, I’m currently at 37K and should be at 38K by the end of the day, so doing just fine.)

7K is new for me, and I think why it worked is because I outlined the section before I wrote it. Oh, and I re-outlined using my normal method. Sorry, Nano Prep Guide. But you failed me.

If you guys have been with me with a while, you’ll know that I outline my major plot points, and then allow myself a little more freedom in between said plot points. This works great in general, but I’ve found that because this book is so long (I’ve estimated it’ll be 100K in the end, which is pretty standard for a fantasy novel, if not a little short) I have A LOT of distance between my plot points.

For example, my current section (25K-50K) says “Ship somehow makes it through storm, they really can’t go home now” and that has to get me to 50K (“Marit saves…the ship? Rae? Sol? Something, using what she has learned, and realizes she is useful; Rae and Sol have a moment, before Rae doubles down on previous plan”), so I’ve had 12K of freedom and have 13K more, which is actually a bit daunting.

(I also realize that my plot points are pretty dang vague–that’s just how it works for first drafts, cuz I generally have a good idea of how the story needs to go to hit my themes/make sense but not a good idea of specifics. My outline in revision is quite a bit more detailed.)

So what I started doing, as of Friday, was jot down a little phase outline of the next part of the story.

(Well, what actually happened was that Friday was a wash because the smaller, mobile one was very sick and I had to take her to urgent care. So outlining made me feel like I was getting something done even if actual writing was not.)

And I used the Friday outline for my 7K on Saturday, and it worked great.

So I’ve been doing that since, and so far it hasn’t been an issue to hit my 2K a day (though I admit it’s been 3 days, so). I’ve done this a few times before, most notably when writing City of Hope and Ruin, and it really does work well. It gives me the freedom of creativity that I don’t get if I try to outline the whole thing start to finish (and I find that, at least for me, it’s near impossible to do that anyway–my brain just can’t fill in that many details up front), but it allows me to have a plan for the day, so I can move forward faster.

Also, I read something on tumblr about using Comic Sans–that it makes it easier for writing to flow–so I’m trying that too, and have been for most of Nano. I’m not sure if it’s actually making it easier or not, but at this point I’m a little afraid to switch back to experiment.

I hope your November is going well, squiders, and that you’re reaching your own goals! See you Thursday!

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