Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Moving Quickly Through a Draft

melodi2 4.25pmI’d love to have the luxury of thoughtfully mulling over each word and getting wrapped up in the art of my writing—I just don’t have the time.

Between publisher deadlines, working for more than one imprint and editor, and trying to do my own independent projects, writing quickly has become mandatory for me.

If you’re in the same boat, or if you’re thinking of participating in NaNoWriMo next month, I thought I’d share what works for me. (Your mileage may vary.) :)

Tips for speeding through a first draft:

Have at least an idea where you’re heading with a story.

Write sequels and series—you’ll have an already-established setting and a core group of characters to write several books around.

Don’t worry about chapter breaks during a first draft. Or even a second draft.

Don’t stop to research or find the perfect word choice. Type in **** and come back to it later.

Learn to write anywhere and with any noise level . The ability to adapt to any environment makes the writing go faster.

Don’t obsess over the perfect character name. The name can easily be changed later after we’ve gotten to know the character better.

When you realize you’re not happy with the direction your story is taking, flag the point where you’re changing the plot line and just pick up with the new direction at that point.

Put random ideas and out of place scenes in a special Word file.

If you get stuck at some point in your book, consider writing a different part of the book until you’re ready to tackle the part that stumped you.

Make a short list of what you want to accomplish with your writing for the next day and where you plan on picking up with your story.

What works for you? Do you experiment with your process? And…are you participating in NaNoWriMo?