Word-count Hacks: Pre-Planning
(A new series where I will look at different techniques for getting your daily word count up. Following the theory: if it is not written down you can’t fix it.)
I have limited writing time, so I need to make every minute to write count. I don’t know if I am going to do a NaNoWriMo project, but I may try to do a NaNoWriMos worth of writing (50k+ for those counting) during November. And if I do I will need to really bump my daily word count.
To this end I have tried any number of tools and applications. Many people love Write or Die (It just makes me feel rushed, does not help with the quality of my writing. Though, I have stolen the idea of keeping track of my word count while writing.) Other people use distraction free apps (I don’t find them too helpful.)
But, I have found one technique that is really, really helped me bump my word count:
I completely thank the amazing book 2k to 20k by Rachel Aaron for introducing me to this idea. Though I have found my own variations on it.
The idea is that before you start writing for the day, plan out what you are going to write. Regardless of if you are a working with an outline or if you are working from the seat of your pants, sit down and sketch out what you want to get done. Thrown in details, bits of dialogue, any themes you want to hit, anything that you can get out of your head. Make sure you pieces all fit together, make sure you have all of the characters.
Don’t actually write it, just make sure you have all the details you need to write it.
I take about five minutes or more and jott it all down. I work from a partial outline, so I start from there and break the story down even further and further. I find the things that might not work or need more details or just don’t flow. And I do this all before I get blocked by them.
Most of the time you want to do this right before you start writing, though I sometimes do it ahead of time and review the pre-planning notes right before I start. This allows me to get more work done in the bits and pieces of free-time (heh) I might have in the day.
Again, the idea here is before you start writing, either just before or earlier, detail what you are going to write. Get as many of the writing problems out of the way before you start. Review it and let those words flow.