My Writing Process

by | Aug 12, 2020

This article is probably better suited for those new to trying to complete a work of fiction, although seasoned writers might find some use regarding how they can use this information to expedite their workflow.

Expediting the process and all, is in your mind. Quite literally. You can go from zero to hero miles per hour with your writing if you exercise simple mental training, strategy, and discipline. Again, it’s all in your mind.

How do I do it? Or, how to do it? Take it easy. Let me repeat that. Take it easy.

Think about it this way, or this is how I look at it. There are 365 days in the year. If you write just one page per day for the next 365 days, at the end of a year you’ll have a 365 page book.

Now, 365 pages of an 8.5 x 11 typed up page, single spaced, using the Times Roman font, is a large book. A book that size would have blown past 100,000 words by leaps and bounds. For that matter, at around 260 pages or so, again, using 12 point type with the font, Times Roman, you would have hit the 100,000 words mark.

Getting the idea(s) for your book onto the digital or literal page may not require your book be that size. You see where I’m going with this, right? No?

Ok, consider the size of some of these books, and using my take it easy method, provided you are consistent, meaning do a little bit every day (one page), figure out what you are capable of doing and how fast, writing just one page per day.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s, The Hobbit, is 95,356 words.

You can write a book that size doing one page a day in about 260 days. Don’t jump the gun! Yes, I know, you probably write or can write way more than one page per day, or your daily page count fluctuates.

But, say you are consistent. At two pages a day, you’re down to completing a book the size of the Hobbit in about 130 days, or around just over four months. Not bad. So figure, you can crank out two novels that size in a year. Cool!

Yes, I know. You can or probably dish out three pages or more per day. Let’s say you’re prolific. Say you can routinely sustain dishing out four pages per day. At that rate you would have kicked out a novel the size of the Hobbit in sixty-five days, or just over two months. See where I’m going with this now?

You’re a writing machine and you probably never knew it! You can probably crank out six novels per year at the rate you write! You’re a beast!

Feeling inspired or excited at your newfound potential yet? Consider the word count of some of these novels:

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone is 77,500 words. Do the math. Figure out how fast you can write a book that size based on your page count per day.

Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games, is 99,750 words.

George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, is 284 to 298 thousand words. Not a problem for you if your book is a longer epic fantasy and you employ my take it easy method. You got this.

Now, what if you’re doing a shorter work?

C.S. Lewis, of the Chronicles of Narnia fame, his The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, is a mere 38,421 words.

Now, figure out how quickly a writing machine like you can complete that.

Again, provided you’re on top of your craft, meaning you’re not a neophyte, you know how to construct a good narrative opening hook, an enticing plot, you know how to create and develop characters, set good pacing for the story’s flow, et cetera, and again, daddy, you got this.

You may be one who wings it, meaning you develop your story as you go along. Don’t. Well, I don’t.

Be methodical about this. My two cents. Have a method.

If you take the time to put together an outline, that will give you a roadmap of what you want accomplished. All you’ll have to do thereafter is follow it.

You don’t get into your car and head out to XYZ destination you’ve never been to without checking up on how to get there, do you? No. You make a plan of how to approach this so you can reach your goal. Then why ever wing it when writing? Why not employ the same practical and methodical approach you take when driving to your writing by first taking the time to develop an outline?

The more comprehensive your outline the better. It does not have to cover every nook and cranny, especially because during the writing process ideas often come up that suggest ways in which to improve what you set out to do.

The point is not to be exacting, but you’d be much better off if you have a plan. With that in hand, or on paper, or on your computer, all you’d have to do is execute it, just like you do when you use a roadmap, or your GPS system to help you navigate from point A to B.

Maps and GPS systems, they’re pretty efficient tools, aren’t they? I have found outlines are just as helpful. For that matter, I literally spend weeks to months on my ideas and make an outline before I sit down to write.

To me, spending that time is worth it, because having done so, when I’m venturing out to some place that’s new on my literary landscape, I know exactly what I have to do in order to get there. And, using my take it easy method, I know precisely how long it’ll take me to get there too, given my daily page output.

Working like this, I can, and you can also, decrease the stress levels associated with creating a new work considerably.

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