Write fast! How I wrote 15k in a week – Nanowrimo week one

It’s been one week of Nanowrimo and I thought I’d write down how I’ve been getting on because, for the first time, I think I might actually complete this!
Last time I tried to write a novel in a month, I got to the end of week one and realized it was going to be a complete impossibility. I mean, it’s writing a whole book in a month! That sounds crazy, and it kind of is. My last attempt ended in complete failure.  That was years ago and I haven’t tried it again – until now, and things are different this time.

This time, I’m writing like I always wanted to. I’m writing fast.

Write quicker and better

The first thing that I did differently this time around was planning. I used October, or #preptober as it’s known over on the gram, to really think about the novel I wanted to write. I never used to do this. I used to just sit down and hope a novel would magically appear from my fingers onto the screen, and sometimes it did, but it wasn’t until I paid attention to structure that I finally finished my first novel and got a literary agent. So I knew that I needed a plan before I even wrote one word. I got my first sentence down, then concentrated on the other plot points I wanted in the novel, starting with the all important mid-point.

Writing a novel

The next thing I did, was tell everyone that I was writing a novel in a month. Seems obvious, but also not. As a freelancer, I have several clients and commitments that I need to do each day. In order to get daily writing time in, I have to shuffle my schedule so I can get my work done as well as my writing. This means things will have to shift in terms of family stuff. So telling my family that I might be working in the early evening and therefore wouldn’t be around to help with homework, or do certain chores, or just be around is important. I took my weekly schedule and carved out writing time and let my family know what I was doing.

Writing smart

The next and most important thing I’ve done is in two stages – firstly, I planned out what I was going to write the day before. Meaning I was never sitting down staring at the keyboard wondering what I was about to write. I have a notebook and at the end of each writing session, I make a quick note of what I want to happen next. And if I don’t know? I think about it whilst going about my day, keeping the notebook with me and jot down ideas as they happen.

The second stage is changing up my writing time. For the first couple of days, I’d allotted writing time of an hour here or there in the morning and then again in the evening, but it quickly became apparent that short bursts of writing are not where I’m most productive.

On the day that I gave myself a solid two and a bit hours, I clocked up almost 3k words whereas when I knew I only had an hour, I struggled to reach 700. It seems that when I know I have a longer stretch of time, I find it easier to get the words down.

By just making these small adjustments, I’m writing quicker than I ever have before. I have 15k words of my rubbish first draft down and that is really some achievement for me! I’m doing the same this week, and fingers crossed, this time next week I’ll be around the 30k mark. 

So if you have any tips for writing fast that you’d like to share, let me know! 


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