My first adult-written novel took an excrutiating long time to write. Four years. Dipping in and out of the plot. Stalling. Dealing with life. Boredom. It was such a relief to finally finish it. I think I was partly afraid of leaving the characters behind, and afraid that I’d never have another good idea to write about ever.
Little did I know! The ideas just keep coming. And sometimes you have to finish one, to make room for the next one.
About six years ago, I signed up to Nanowrimo for the first time. On my first attempt, I did not make the 50k goal. But I did write a total of 25,000 words. Much more than I’d ever written before. It took me a while to finish that novel as well, but in the meantime, I was working on many more different stories.
Each year I have participated in Nanowrimo and with practice, I can now write at least 50ks in a month.
I’m totally hooked on fast writing now. My personal best is 65,000 words in one month. And I just love the buzz when the words are flowing fast, and you’re caught up in the zone. At times I’ve pantsed it completely through the month, though my last Nano, I did an outline of the story beforehand, reached 65k for the month, and then the other 65k was added before the end of February.
Writing sprints help me to focus on my goal in short spurts of writing. It makes me manage my time better, more efficiently and most of the time, the characters know to show up during a writing sprint.
And now I’ve added Dr Wicked to my writing toolbox and am really looking forward to a desktop application. You set your word goal and your time goal and you write. If you stop typing, the screen will turn flash and turn a pink colour, and then bright red. Then a horrible noise will start playing until you start typing again. It’s got me focused: a timer and aversion therapy all in one. I love me some Dr. Wicked.
So this month, I’m participating in RWA’s version of Nanowrimo – 50ks in 30 days. I’m writing a new YA novel with my favourite fairy godmother, Felicity Von Charm. The question is, can she stop snorting the fairy dust long enough to work her magic?
Now that I know the power of sprints, and the wicked power of the doctor, there is no turning back. I will never write slow again.