If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, orFacebook, you know that I JUST finished my 50,000 words for November/NaNoWriMo!
Let me do a happy dance...
Okay, that's not a happy dance. That is a very sexy Dean Winchester... I'm not sorry.
THERE IS A POINT...
I get a lot of messages from people who want to know how in the world I can write so many words a day. On Saturday (because I was so close to 50,000 words) I wrote 14,000 lol. It took me about 9 hours in between taking the middle gal to basketball, then writing, then going to a birthday party, then writing, then doing a fb party... then writing... feeding the kids in there too (because my husband didn't get home until about 8:30 pm).
I wanted to give you a few tips on how *I* write so many words (I normally get betwen 2k-5k a day when I'm working on a story. That is... on the days I write. I'm not perfect. There ARE some days I don't write... we won't talk about that right now.)
I should preface this by saying that I know there are SO many other people in the world who write more words than me a day. AND there are so many people who writer slower than me, but their words are so beautiful. So this post is JUST about how I write and how I can get high word counts a day. I hope at least some of these tips work for you.
1. TRUST IN EDITING
During NaNo, I don't go back and edit. There is no time... there is never any time...
... I'm not sorry.
When I write my first drafts, I write my first drafts. I go with the story, go with the flow and I don't go back and edit. If I decide I want to bring someone back to life, I do it. It makes editing a bit of a messy ordeal, but I think it's worth it. It gets the creative out. It gets your story out of your head. And it gets your words down.
"You can't edit a blank page"-- Laura Heritage, circa 2013 (my friend and one of my editors who knocks me upside the head sometimes)
2. Start with an outline... BUT don't be afraid to go away from it.
If my friend, J. Andersen is reading this, she will have this expression...
I used to be so massively anti-outline. No, that's not right. I wasn't ANTI-OUTLINE... Outlines were great. For other people. However, I've grown as an author lol. And now I do write basic outlines. Actually, I outlined most of my Nanowrimo this year. I had a general idea. And I knew how I wanted it to end. THEN, I went back after each chapter and outlined the next chapter better...
UNTIL, the last 14,000 words lol That totally went off script, and I liked it-- so I went with it.
SO, outline, but don't be so stuck to it that you don't let your creativity and the story take over.
When I write this post next year, I might be totally, 100% pro-outline. Sigh. Times are always a changin'.
3. Know your wpm/hr rate.
For me, I know I can write 2,000 words in about 45 minutes. I use that average to decide how much time I need to set aside to do my word count goals for the day. If I want to do 5,000 words for a day, I usually sit down at about 7:30 pm and write til 10-ish (cause Math is specific lol). Knowing your words/rate helps you stay on track and keeps your mind from wandering. I KNOW I have a certain amount of words that has to be done in 20 minutes (1,000 normally) so that's what I do.
What is your words per minute/hour rate? Use that to find out the best times for you to write in your specific schedule.
4. Cut out all distractions.
Stay with me here...
I USED to write with youtube blaring on earphones. I thought I 'had' to do that to get the mood right in my story. Now, even as I'm typing this, I have zero music on... the TV isn't even on.
I found that I could, SURPRISE, write MORE in a quiet room. I NEVER thought I'd write in a quiet room. The first time I figured this out was when I wrote a book for fun. I was in a slump (writer's block), and I decided that I'd write this book just for me. I wrote 64,000 words in 3 weeks. It just flowed. I had no television on. No youtube. No music. From then on, I like the quiet.
Sigh... I never thought I'd do that.
5. No Internet!
I don't have the internet on my laptop.
Because when I had the internet on my laptop do you know what I did? I was on the internet because SOMEONE SOMEWHERE must be posting something awesome.
I write with my phone in the other room too. This goes with the no distractions. If I focus only on the book, let my mind wander, I 'watch' it in my mind like a movie, I'm so much more productive. I guess I have to keep myself entertained and that means writing. :)
-- Have your characters mapped out or sketched out. Know what you want them to look like. For this Nano, I printed off pictures of my characters so I'd know what they looked like. I'm horrible to mix up eye color (that's why #1 is trust your editor!)
I'm sorry Tia ;)
--ACCOUNTABILITY! Either have a person who keeps you accountable for your daily word count goals OR post online. Be competitive if that works for you. ANYTHING that keeps you motivated works. I do 1,000 word increments. I write 1k, then rest for a minute or two... write then rest. And and I have amazing accountability buddies that keep me on the straight and narrow.
What do you think?
Do you think these tips can help you? Are you going to try any of them?
Remember, these are just for writing faster. It doesn't help with creativity (though I do find that I'm more creative when I let the words flow), and know that you will have issues to fix in editing (don't we all though lol)
BUT if you are looking for ways to up your word count or even meet your current word count goals, these are my suggestions. Leave a comment and tell me what you think. What are your word count getting tips? I'd love to hear from you.
Kelly Martin is the bestselling author of paranormal, contemporary, and YA books. She loves the dark, but sleeps with a nightlight. She has been married for over ten years and has three rowdy, angelic daughters. When Kelly's not writing, she loves taking picture of abandoned houses, watching horror gamers on YouTube-- even though she's a huge wimp-- and drinking decaf white chocolate mochas (because that totally makes sense). She's a total fangirl, loves the 80s and 90s, and has a sad addiction to Netflix.
If you ever have a question or comment, feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org ♥ You can follow her writing adventure at http://www.kellymartinbooks.com/
About Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin is an Amazon bestseller and award-winning author. She loves abandoned house photography, ghost stories, and trying to figure out what goes bump in the night.
New Series Progress
Books by Kelly Martin
The Afterlife of Lizzie Monroe
The Heartless Series (complete):
DDT Series (complete):
Dark and Deadly Things
Dark and Devious Things
Dark and Dreadful Things
Dark and Desperate Things
Dark and Dangerous Things
Fairy Tale Series (complete):
Betraying Ever After
The Beast of Ravenston
The Glass Coffin
The Deception of Devin Miller
B.I.G. is Beautiful: A Love Story
Crossing the Deep
Love in the 80s
Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Current YOUTUBE videos