Fast Drafting

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Okay, I admit that I have pretty much given up on NaNo at this point. Sad, but true. In fact,  I just said to a work colleague that I have looked forward to it all year and now can't find time to sit down, let alone write. Honestly, anyone who says 'if you really want to write, you will make time' clearly has a lot less on their plate than me. Or has access to some kind of super caffeine and no longer requires sleep.

What I have done is read... and research. It isn't too hard to squeeze a quick read, say a blog post, in between patients in clinic. And although I am disappointed that I won't finish NaNo, I have learned something I think may prove to be valuable. Maybe a few things. Probably the most important of these is that not every writer uses the same 'method' to get the words down. Yeah, I know that's kind of obvious, but hear me out.

I keep reading about how I should write everyday. Let's be honest. I don't even get to shower everyday. There is no chance I'll get to write everyday,  or at least not until the kids have moved out. I've read loads of posts on what methods various published authors use. Most of which still preach 'write every day'. But this week I have come across another method,  one that just might work for me. That is if I tweak it a bit.

The method is called fast drafting and it originates from a workshop taught by a woman called Candace Havens. Essentially,  you write 70k in 14 days by concentrating on page count instead of word count.  There are a few rules,  like don't read what you have previously written, but the big one is 'write 20 pages a day for 14 consecutive days'.

There is no way I can do 14 consecutive days. And sitting down long enough to write 20 pages seems unlikely,  but I have an idea. I think I'll try a lower page count at first. For example, I need roughly 30k to finish Valentine Bride. If I shoot for 10 pages (estimating 250 words per page) over 12 non-consecutive days, that would do it. Furthermore,  I could aim to do 4 days a week and finish in 3 weeks. Then I could try to up my page count and/or days per week for my next project so that eventually I am hitting the 60k mark in a month.

I am thinking of making my first draft more of a 'bare bones', telling. That way I can capture the entire story on the page while it is still fresh and exciting. I am also thinking of writing my fast draft by hand so I can steal random minutes here and there instead of trying to find time to sit at or get to the computer. It's worth a shot, anyway. So, I'm going to spend the next week or so (since I am ridiculously  busy) plotting a couple of projects in preparation.

If you've done fast drafting or have another unusual way of raising your word count,  I'd love to hear about it.  Happy writing!

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