Sunday, July 20, 2014

Writing Fast, Faster, Fastest (and No, It Ain't Pretty)

This week was a good week of tennis, writing, and walks. The tennis went well enough. My net game was awesome (it used to suckitysucksuck in high school, but after two kids and twenty years, the fear of the ball hitting my face no longer exists).

The view at tennis on a lovely 70-something NH day

This week, I wrote 15,000 words: 5,000 on a short story and 10,000 on my novella. (Both Bad Mom Rents a Man Stories--ooh, they're so good!) This means I did about 2000-2500 words, per day, per sitting, in less than 1.5 hours. This is what I have found helps me reach these numbers:

1) I need white noise. Not music--yuck, no!--but sitcoms. Frasier, Modern Family, Big Bang Theory. I have no idea what's going on as I write, but I need them on for "company."

2) I post to Twitter every 20 minutes regarding where I'm at word-count-wise. My initial post states "Starting a #1k1hr at 2 pm EST!" and anyone who wants to join will. Then I'll update with "Did 500 in 20 minutes. #LotsOfCaffeine"

3) I do NOT revise. I go, go, go. I focus on dialogue and getting characters from one place to the next. I will revise in later the details and transitions and logic. 

4) I start each session with crimp notes on a Post-It. I need this character to have this notch in their arc, that character to have this revelation, etc.

Niles helps me reach 1500-2000 words in an hour

The finished product? Let me show you a teeny-tiny bit (FIRST DRAFT AHEAD!!):

"You don't know anything about me."
  Bugs sat back and folded his napkin, putting it on top of his finished plate. "I think I know you a little better than SISTER A and SISTER B."
  "No you don't."
  "SISTER A calls you Annie, and SISTER B thinks you're in kindergarten." SISTER B kept showing surprise that Roxie knew how to read and to multiply and to throw her own trash away without being asked.

1) Note the placeholders. I didn't have time to look up the sisters' names (this is Book 2 in my series). 

2) Bugs is talking to an eight-year-old. I need to add some exposition about chewing gum or fiddling with a shoelace or pushing her peas around.

3) I may need to up some microtension (maybe Bugs is getting a teeny-tiny bit annoyed with this conversation--so I need to show that).

I'm also a big believer in refilling my creative well. Walking to the library, walking to the post office, even just walking to the stop sign down the street is what does our bodies good. We keep track of what we look at: squirrels, cats, dogs, frogs, millipedes, butterflies, teachers, etc. It's a lovely time the kids and I have together. I highly recommend it to you, my lovely reader. (Even if your kids are 14, 24, or 54--go take them for a walk! And look for squirrels!!)

Who needs a dog when your neighbor has one?

Bailey the Wary But Patient Neighbor Kitty
And that, My Dear Reader, was this week. 

Until the next Super Sunday Story...