Writing Real Fast and Other Protips
I wrote this under threat of sleep, like four hours after I concepted the post at all. It didn’t go where I wanted. Who cares? It’s just blogs!
Six chapters to go on One’s Own Shadow. Updated cover and interior, plus book 2 cover reveal when I’m done. Three days or so.
Oh boy. This is supposed to be one of those places where I tell you guys how to write super fast like me (like… 5-6k words per day with time left over to play VIDEO GAMES!! and blog stupid shit to no one). Then I write a book about it and it’s the best selling thing I’ve ever done and I get super depressing and I jump off a cliff and then I die.
Rather than that, I’m going to ramble very briefly on the idea of those tips. In spite of my publicly available content, I’ve been writing for a long time. I’ve sat in loads of talks with other writers, sometimes very popular and well-paid ones and heard them talk about their process. I recommend it if you haven’t, but it’s important that you go in with the right expectations. Or, to say it another way, that you go in trying to take away the correct things.
As I sat in those dozens of writer talks, I saw a lot of the same questions. “What do you do?” The answers were varied, thoroughly. Some authors woke up and smoked pot and got to work. Some did sprints (rare among bigger name guys that I’ve seen talk, anecdotally). Some insisted on writing before they did anything else for the day, even breakfast. Beyond this are the dozens of questions about story planning and first drafts and things like that. One day, I will do a big post detailing my beginning to end process. Later. When anyone gives a shit at all.
But let’s talk about what you should take away from those things, at least in my opinion. It’s super simple, be a fucking vacuum not a mimic. Suck up all the methods you can, listen to them, then give them a shot. Don’t expect that your process will be the same as your favorite author’s. Process is a strange thing and successful writers work all over the spectrum of output and methodologies. Some do little to no planning, write fast, edit hard. Others plan meticulously, write slow, and edit minimally. Every variation in between works. Some write out of order. I have no idea how they can stand it, but they do it. Some write in order only, cursing the others for madmen.
Still, even with years of writing done, hearing how others work makes me consider my own process. A useful thing to do even if you are set in it. Examine it, refine, cut what you hate, develop what you like. And use other people as a board to hold your stuff up against. If an author you don’t even like has a process similar to yours, take a like at where they differ. You might find something that can make you more productive. And that’s the real shit, man. Be productive. You can’t sell books direct from your head.