The more I test speed writing, the more refined the process becomes. So, I decided to share what I’ve learned so far since my system has improved.
- First, plot the story only a few scenes at a time. A sentence or two is fine.
- Then, brainstorm answers to the following question: “What would make me root for this character to succeed?”
- Based on that list, write the scene but only the dialogue.
- Fix any story problems while it’s only dialogue. It speeds up the story editing process rather than going through thousands of words at a time. Do only a few scenes at a time to feel yourself through it.
- Then, embellish the details a few scenes at a time. The dialogue-only scenes are only hypothetical until you add the details
- Do 8-second paragraphs. The average reader reads 200 words per minute. But the average attention span is 8 seconds. This means you must do something to get and keep their attention every 8 seconds or in other words, every 25 words. That’s why I keep my paragraphs no longer than 24 words.
- Every 24 words ask yourself “Does this paragraph make us root for the character?” Do that on every 8-second paragraph and the reader will continue to root for the character and the story will keep their attention.
- Last, copyedit the paragraphs, run it through any automated process such as Grammarly or Autocrit or send it to your beta readers, professional copy editor and/or proofreader.
Combine this with Pomodoro sprints and you’re on to finishing a solid draft in no town.