The plus is, I’ve about 5000 words already – so yes, I’m cheating, I’ll have to write only 20.000
It’s not much, really.
It means writing two thousand words per day.
Twenty hundred good words, that is.
I already did it – two years back, I wrote a 40.000 novel in eight days.
Not a very good novel, but it was a viable first draft.
I got all the basics on the page.
I’m currently reworking in in final draft and plan on publishing it soon.
So, I got me a novel in eight days.
But,. moot importantly, I learned I could do it – someone said I missed the training, and I’d fail.
But I did it.
And now I have the training, too.
Since then I did another high-volume writing week, when I was writing my doctoral dissertation.
I learned more tricks – I got some good advice from great people – and my writing is more focused.
I can easily do 5000 words per day without sweating it.
The true limit, to me, is the mechanical act of typing – the pain in my hands after eight hours on the keyboard.
The main cause is, I’m heavy-handed – I started on a mechanical typewriter, and I’m used at really punching down hard.
This is bad.
So I’ll have to concentrate on my hands, keep the fingers as light as possible.
So here’s my personal recipe for writing 20.000 words in ten days.
. write a good outline
. plan a solid, simple structure
. get a lot of stuff handy – notes, maps, photo references so that, when you get stuck (and you’ll get stuck) you have something ready to fill the gaps
. don’t stop writing
I normally do two runs – on the first, I write down, as fast as I can, as much text as I can.
Then I can do a second pass and clean up, fill in the missing pieces, straighten the things that need to be straightened.
To pull such a trick one needs tools.
As I already mentioned, I’m now using Scrivener, that is a swell software.
But for sheer speed and heavy-lifting in terms of churning out words, nothing beats a common notepad – like Gedit, if you run under Linux.
For me, at least – some prefer distraction-free word processors.
One very important thing I use, when I go on these writing binges, is a software called WorkRave.
It’s a small utility that helps managing working time – it sets breaks and relax intervals, and scheduled exercise for hands, arms and back. It helps a lot, it makes workload lighter and actually increases productivity.
Yes – tea.
A dark brown sea of tea to keep me afloat.
Finally, some tactical considerations.
Anyway – it’s going to be a tough, interesting week.
I’ll keep you posted.