Would you like to learn how to write faster? A lot faster?
I just finished a great short book by Monica Leonelle, Write Better Faster: How To Triple Your Writing Speed and Write More Every Day.
And, yes, I do see the irony that I read way more how-to-write-fiction than I write! It reminds me of this saying, “The more content you consume, the less you create.”
But I digress…
Leonelle went from being a slow, occasional writer to a pro who can crank out up to 4,000 words an hour and 50,000 words a month (which is the equivalent of a short novel, or half a full length novel).
Big aha’s for me from the book…
1) You must track your progress–Leonelle says this is the single most important thing to do, even though it’s a pain the butt. And while many authors track their total hours and words per hour, Leonelle points out that you also need to track how many hours per day you are actually writing. Seems obvious in hindsight, but that is clearly the key to productivity: more hours with your butt in the writing chair, and more words in each of those hours.
2) Do 4 drafts for fiction–Leonelle’s starts with an outline, which is about a paragraph per chapter. Then she goes back and writes out the “beats” which average about five paragraphs per chapter. Her third draft she calls a “Sketch” which she describes as, “I turned each beat from ‘tell’ to ‘show,’ thinking of them as short instructions for what should be on the page.”
And finally she does a “compile” which includes and transitions or connectors. This doesn’t mean the book is done. She’ll still go through copy-editing for example. But the fourth “compile” version means it’s ready to be read by someone else.
3) Use dictation software–Leonelle kept improving her hourly word count until the point when her fingers and hands couldn’t keep up physically. I can relate. As a 47-year old writer, carpal tunnel does rear it’s ugly head on my writing sprints and I often have to wear wrist splints and pop Advils to deal with the pain.
Leonelle solved this problem by using Dragon Dictation software and talking her book out loud. She jumped from an impressive 2,400 words per hour to a miraculous 3,200 words once she started dictating.
4) Leonelle recommends Story Engineering by Larry Brooks as the best book on structuring a novel. I’ve read a lot of books on fiction, and actually hadn’t heard of this one before. I plan to read it soon.
There is a lot more I haven’t covered that will be especially useful to new writers. Learn about the Pomodoro method…how Leonelle writes while she’s outside going for a walk…what to do when you get stuck…how to maintain speed and quality…how she prices different “sizes” of fiction, and a lot more.
I picked this book up for $0.99 and it’s easily worth 10x the price.
On Amazon: Write Better Faster
Leonelle’s website www.ProseOnFire.com
Get her weekly blog posts at http://proseonfire.com/contact-me/