Monday, October 19, 2015

Tips on How to Write Your Book Faster

Everyone and their pet hamster wants to know how they can learn to writer faster. The overall answer to this question is: Practice. Every. Day.

Here are the basic steps to learning how to write faster and easier.

1. Do Your Research

Before your ever begin the writing phase of your book, do your research first. Stopping mid-book to research something essential to your plot can cause writer's block and break up the flow of your writing. It is also an unnecessary distraction that you can avoid. Do all your research first.

2. Make an Outline

Whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, outlines help you to remember where you are taking your plot and what you should write about next. A basic plot skeleton can be written inside of an hour. You can write your book from the simplest skeleton or you can flesh it out with notes, research, and reminders so that you always know what you are writing about and what plot scene you are writing towards.

3. Use Symbols, Initials, and Abbreviations

When I get "in the zone" while writing fiction, I feel like I can't type as fast as I think. To play catch up with myself, I will start to use symbols, such as @, initials for characters (TZ), and I will abbrev. words.

4. Cut Out Distractions

Throw the TV out the window, take a hammer to your cellphone, and ban all social media. These three things are the major time suckers in our world.

If you have a small child, like I do, accept that there will always be interruptions, but they are good interruptions because little ones don't stay little forever. Older kids, however, can be given chores to do and will understand that they should only disrupt you during work hours when it is absolutely necessary.

5. Set a Timer

For some people, this works extremely well. Since I have a toddler, I can set the timer (I use Apimac Timer) for 15 minutes and write. Then I set it for 10 minutes and give my toddler attention or have her help me prepare lunch or dinner. It works for us because she is finally starting to play by herself with her toys.

Those without small children can set the timer for larger blocks of time. I have read many people using the 45 - 15 schedule where they write for 45 minutes and take a break to do something else for 15 minutes.

6. Just Write, Write, and Write

When you are hammering out the first draft, do not do edits as you are writing. Don't go back over paragraphs to tighten them. Just write. Ignore your errors. You will get to them later. Right now, you just need to write. Don't even bother looking at the screen if the temptation is too great to make corrections. Stare at your keyboard and type.

Some writers claim that they get more writing down when they sit with pen and paper and write longhand. That is how I started out writing years ago and it is still something I do when I can't use one of my devices.

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