I can’t write fast enough.
First off, there are way too many good ideas for stories floating out there. I keep bumping into them. They ask, “Good sir, would you please commit me to paper so I may not fade into the formless aether?”
And I must answer, “Alas, promising jumble of concepts and characters, I may not. Already I am committed to another story. Do you see? I must fulfill my commitment, else its vengeful ghost strike at me and I am left bereft of the ability to string syllables together into words.”
Did you know that stories are terribly jealous, too? If you break up with one, it’ll keep haunting you.
That’s not the biggest problem with me not writing fast enough, though. You see, no matter how fast I write, you probably read faster. My first novel, The Keeper of Tales, took over a decade to finally find its final form. Like a Final Fantasy boss, it kept changing and changing until I finally pinned it onto the page with ink and imagination. My guess is you’ve read more than one book in the last decade.
True, my writing is getting faster as I figure out how to write fast. For instance, Dragons of the Ashfall was completed in less than a year. Still, if you’re a reader, I suspect you read more than a book a year.
Still, my writing accelerates. For the last half-year, I’ve been able to write a novel a month.
That’s more like it.
Yet, for a lot of readers, that’s not enough. I know people that rip through a novel a week easily. I know others that read more.
What that means is, no matter how fast I write, there will be readers hungry for more.
I think about my oldest daughter. She’s one of those girls that reads during recess. She reads at home. She goes through novels in a sitting. My oldest son is the same way. I love that my kids have this love of reading.
The hard part is, many writers can’t keep up with those kind of readers. For many trilogies, for example, one book comes out a year. Sometimes they come out more slowly! If someone rips through books, that’s not often enough. They want to finish the story!
So, what does this have to do with anything?
First, it’s good to learn how to write faster. This is what I’ve done:
- I outline. I know where I’m going when I write. Before each writing session, I’ll look at the outline and figure out where this chapter begins and ends.
- I set goals. In one hour, I want a 1500 word chapter rough drafted. That’s a pretty standard goal for me.
- I make sure I know my keyboard. When I get a new laptop, I have to dial back my goals simply because I can’t type as fast until I get to know it better.
- I write. The more you write, the more proficient you become, the faster you’re able to write.
- When I’m doing a rough draft, I’m doing a rough draft. I don’t agonize over word choices. I just go. It’s easier to edit something that exists than something that doesn’t, so I just create. I can come back later and revise.
Now, that’s what I do to write faster.
But writing faster doesn’t help readers unless those books see the light of day. Thus, Dawnsbrook.
Dawnsbrook Press is dedicated to publishing one book series a school year. The entire series. Sure, there’ll be some waiting, but only about six weeks between volumes in a series, not a year or more! There’s a reason I’ve been aiming for a book a month. Dawnsbrook won’t be publishing each one of those. I’ve got some other commitments as well.
But… well, more news coming in just a few weeks on what Dawnsbrook’s first series will be!