Anatomy of a successful writing week

by admin on February 6, 2012

A friend and I challenged each other to write 1000 words of new fiction last week. Then throughout the week we checked in and said how we were doing. And, no big surprise, we both finished our 1000 words.

I managed to get close to double that done without really working too hard on it which probably shows up in the quality of the writing but bad rough draft writing is always better than good plans of writing that never end up getting written.

I did a few things that helped me reach the goal:

  • Wrote during the day on my iPod Touch which I always carry. Little 50 word sittings add up over the week. Each day I copied all of that into my more permanent document.
  • Wrote during the kids swim class. I normally sit around and read or fight to stay awake.
  • Wrote before I went to bed several times.
  • Didn’t worry about going back and correcting much. It is just a rough draft so I didn’t feel any of that was really necessary.
  • Didn’t worry about other stories rattling around my brain. I just focused on this one. This is frequently a big stumbling block for me.

So what did I end up with.

Most of a short story rough draft. There are two specific scenes that I didn’t get around to writing. Adding them in and improving the descriptions in the story would probably make it about 3000 words which feels like a good length for it. I’ll probably work on adding those scenes and then doing the editing over the next few weeks because it would feel really nice to finish an actual, full first draft and even better to carry it through a round of editing or two.

I had an idea about halfway through the draft that I decided to try. It ended up changing it from a short story to a first chapter of something longer. But I don’t think I really want to go down the full novel route so I will probably just keep it as a nice short story by reworking a couple minor points along the way.

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