Wednesday Writing (yes, I know it's Thursday)

Thursday, 23 February 2012


I’m a day late, but here’s Wednesday Writing anyway!
So, I promised some information on upping word counts. I have to admit the reason my word counts tend to be a bit puny is because I barely have time to breathe these days, let alone write. And, again, I know I need to make the time. I’m working on it.
In the meantime, I found a blog post which has some really interesting ways to increase word count. It’s called ‘How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day’ and it’s by Rachel Aaron. You can read it here:
Rachel believes there are 3 elements that when added to writing can boost word counts in extraordinary ways: Knowledge, Time, & Enthusiasm. I’m not going to sit here detailing the whole post, because quite frankly, I want to get to bed. It’s after 2300. What I am going to tell you is it is really worth a read.
Rachel  discusses plotting out scenes in great detail before starting to write them. This is something I have always done, in fact, I can’t write a scene unless I have detailed it to death first. Because of this, I am able to average 1500 words in around an hour and a half. The last scene I wrote was 1649 words in 1 hour and 22 minutes. If you aren’t already doing this, try it. Really, it makes writing scenes a breeze.
She also speaks of having enthusiasm for your work. I have recently started to make detailed chapter outlines and ongoing notes (as I think of things) to keep my ideas fresh and exciting. In the past, my biggest hurdle was chapter 4. Once I got there, I forgot why I was actually excited about the story in the first place. Keeping these outlines has helped me to remember and clear that hurdle.
The third point on Rachel’s triangle is Time. This is my downfall, clearly, but she offers a very good suggestion. She recommends that we keep a spreadsheet with information on our writing sessions like time of day, duration, place, distractions, word count… Once the spreadsheet starts to fill up, we should see a pattern in the time and environment in which we write and word count. The idea is to find the most productive time and environment to work in. I’ve only just started my spreadsheet, so nothing stands out as of yet.
So, I do seem to be putting two of Rachel’s points into practice. Does that mean my word count has risen even somewhat significantly?
Yes and no. I do feel my writing time is more productive, and I do think I am getting a bit better counts (in the past I counted 1k in 1 hour as my goal and often struggled to hit it), but clearly I’m not writing 10k a day. Not even 2k most days. But I’m not giving up. I’m going to keep that spreadsheet and see where it leads me. Maybe then I can concentrate on BICHOK at the right time, with the right preparation, and with great enthusiasm. You never know, one day I may see 10k. For now I’d settle for more like 3k.
Have a read of the post and if you put Rachel’s plan in motion and see significant changes,
I’d love to hear about it.

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