Fast Writing Tips from Larissa Reinhart
I don’t consider myself a fast writer, but I do have a limited time every day to get in my word count (meaning when the children aren’t home!). These are the tips I actually use for my everyday writing.
Know what you’re going to write: Once I get going, I can get lost in the story, but those initial paragraphs can be painful. Before I start to write, I take a few minutes to jot down some ideas or phrases of what I think will be happen or said. This helps the blank page to seem less scary and gets my ideas flowing.
Read (& edit sparingly) what you wrote the day before: I only recommend the previous scene, otherwise you’ll get lost in editing and not get in your word count. But this also helps to get your head in the game, pick up where you left off, and find your voice again.
Use a blackout screen. I write in Scrivener which has a blackout screen. Pages does, too. I’m not sure about other programs, but those screens keep your eyes focused on the page and block any email or social media popups.
Set a realistic timer. I used to try one hour timers. I’m so easily distracted, that I need to break the time down into shorter increments, like thirty, twenty, or even fifteen minutes. But once my eyes are glued to the screen for fifteen minutes, I tend to keep going after the timer stops.
Watch your word count. This helps me, encouraging me as the numbers tick higher. If it causes you anxiety because the words aren’t coming fast enough, don’t use it. Scrivener has a word counter. Pages and Word show the word count at the bottom of the screen.
Turn off the internet! I HAVE TO DO THIS. It’s too easy to pop up over to Facebook or check my email while I’m thinking.
If you can’t think of a word or need some research, leave it blank. I put a * in when I can’t think of a word or need to check a fact. Because those thesaurus/dictionary/fact checking/research missions often turn into internet surfing. And usually I don’t need as much research as I think.
Hope you find these tips helpful. I’m not reinventing any wheels, but I’m sure when you see other writers echo these tips, you’ll know that some of them actually work!