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How to Write a Book Faster | iWriterly

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Are you looking to write your book faster? In this iWriterly video, we will discuss 14
tricks to finish your manuscript sooner. Coming up! Heya, book nerds! I’m Meg LaTorre, and on this episode of
iWriterly, let’s talk about how we can write a book faster. Before we get into today’s content, hit
the subscribe button and ring that bell if you haven’t already. Here on iWriterly, we create videos about
how to be a successful modern-day author and we fangirl about books. As a quick disclaimer, not every writers needs or wants write faster. But if you’re watching this video, you are likely wanting to increase your productivity when it comes to how quickly you write your manuscript. But if you don’t write your manuscript quickly, there is no shame or condemnation. I think sometimes writers get into this mindset where we affiliate our productivity with our success as a writer and our ability to write good books. One doesn’t correlate with the other. You’re not a bad writer if you write books more slowly. All that said, despite our different speeds for our creative process, a lot of writers do want to write books faster. The aspiration to write a book more quickly could
be due to a variety of reasons or circumstances, such as needing to adhere to deadlines (self-imposed
or from a publisher), to provide a constant stream of income (specifically, for self-published
authors), and more. In addition, most writers wish to dive into
the worlds in their heads and have multiple completed works. Regardless of the reason, many writers strive
for efficiency in order to write more books. There’s no judgment or condemnation if you
are satisfied with your pace of writing. But if you would like to increase your writerly
output, consider utilizing these fourteen tricks. 1. Research your topic in advance Don’t go into your book without some knowledge
of the genre or topic you plan to write. Do your homework in advance. This could mean learning about: Setting – whether it’s real or fictional
Warfare and weaponry – specifically for fantasy writers
Technology – specifically for science fiction writers
History – specifically for historical fiction or nonfiction writers
General facts The protagonist’s vocation – especially
if it’s different from yours 2. Get to know your characters It’s hard to write a story about a person
(or people) you don’t know. Do some exercises before you sit down to write
in order to get to know your characters more, such as character questionnaire or profiles. Before I write, I want to get to know the
1.) protagonist(s), 2.) love interest, 3.) main secondary characters, and the 4.) antagonist. Below are a few examples of what you can write
down about each of your characters: A few of their many physical attributes
Any quirks or repeat mannerisms Their desire/what drives them at the beginning
of the book Their heart’s truest desire (what they need
vs. what they think they want) Their general character arc (how they will
change in the beginning vs. the
end of the book after the main plot events) Some writers like to discover who their characters
are as they write. However, consider doing some type of exercise
to help you get to know your characters first. In addition, record everything about these
characters in a separate document so you can go back to your notes later. It’s rather inconvenient if your protagonist
starts off the book with blue eyes and end the book with green eyes. 3. Outline what you will be writing in the upcoming
writing session (or more) Personally, I’m a hardcore plotter and like
to outline my entire manuscript. If you’re a plotter as well, consider outlining
your entire book before you start writing. However, if you fall on the pantser end of
the spectrum (a writer who “flies by the seat of their pants” and doesn’t plan
anything out in advance), you may want to write down what you think will happen in the
next chapter or scene before you write so you don’t get stuck because you don’t
know what’s happening next. 4. Make a writing schedule for the coming week Some people like to write every day. Some don’t. Some can’t. Personally, I like to write at the same time
every week day. But that may not work for you. If your schedule is constantly changing due
to work or other life circumstances, take a look at your upcoming week and set aside
some time to write. If you can plan out farther than that, great! If you want to write at the same time every
day and thrive on routine (like I do), then consider making an ongoing schedule. But be purposeful about setting aside time
for writing so you don’t come to the end of the week and realize you never (or hardly)
made time to write. 5. Set realistic daily/weekly goals Rather than simply saying, “I’m going
to write one hour each day,” give yourself goals to hit within those writing sessions
or by the end of the week. If you have one hour to write, you may find
your mind wandering for part of it or you may not feel entirely motivated to write the
entire time. But if you say, “I’m going to sit at my
computer to write for one hour each day and aim for 500 words or more,” you have given
yourself a tangible goal to work toward. 6. Get in the mindset to write before your writing
time Not everyone can sit down and immediately
start writing. Start mentally preparing yourself before you
write. That could mean listening to music, lighting
a candle, rereading the chapter you wrote before, reviewing your manuscript outline,
and so on. 7. Avoid editing as you write If you want to draft fast, there isn’t time
to edit as you write. Take off your editor hat and allow yourself
to write words that may suck. Avoid editing until you finish the first draft
(if you can), or if you need to edit as you go, consider editing at the end of each chapter
(and not while you’re drafting). 8. Use placeholders If you don’t know the name of a character
or what to call a planet or city in some fictional setting, add a placeholder. The way I write placeholders will look something
like: [PLANET] or [PROTAGONIST’S BFF]. That way, I can search the document for the
brackets and easily find the placeholders when I’m editing. In addition, it allows me to continue drafting
without having to stop and think about the perfect name. 9. Utilize the Pomodoro Technique (also known
as “writing sprints”) For those of you unfamiliar with the Pomodoro
Technique, it’s similar in theory to a writing sprint. It’s a time management method created in
the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo where you work in timed intervals, usually 25 minutes in
length, and it’s separated by short breaks. You only have so much brain power to accomplish
a task before you need a break; and you will get more done if you
focus entirely on a single project for a shorter time (vs. on multiple projects for a longer
period of time). Personally, I’ve found that writing for
20 minutes, resting for five minutes, and then repeating those timed intervals has increased
my writerly output. Experiment with the time of the intervals
to see what works best for you. 10. Set a timer Going along with the Pomodoro Technique and
writing sprints, set a timer for when you are writing vs. resting. That way, you don’t have to be distracted
by looking at the clock to see if you are at the end of your writing sprint. You could also set a timer for longer breaks
so you don’t use up more time unexpectedly. 11. Write in the same place or at the same time
(or don’t) To make writing a habit, it’s important
to be consistent—and sometimes that means writing at the same place or same time. Most writers want to get to a point where
they write so much that if they don’t write, it doesn’t feel quite right (because the
need to write is now ingrained in them). Consider making accompanying habits alongside
writing frequently so when you go to the same place to write, for example, your creative
brain is ready to go. On the flip side, rotating the location where
they write helps some writers to be more productive. For example, writing at a coffee shop may
have less distractions or temptations to do things other than writing (vs. writing at
home, where you could be distracted by chores or things around the house). Learn what works for you (either changing
things up or making a routine). 12. Track your progress Keep yourself accountable by tracking your
progress. Sometimes, writing down how much you wrote
each day and seeing you wrote several chapters by the end of the week is encouragement enough
to keep going and working hard. 13. Manage your expectations Depending on your experience level, you will
want to manage your expectations. If this is your first novel, it will likely
take you much longer to complete it than it would for someone who has ten books under
their belt. Learn what your baseline is. Try out a few writing sprints to see how many
words you usually get in a session. Then, work hard to try to increase your productivity
and learn to write faster. 14. Don’t be afraid to write a crappy first
draft In the words of Terry Pratchett: “The first
draft is just you telling yourself the story.” As I said in the How to Write More Words video:
“Your first draft is supposed to be an imperfect retelling of the perfect story in your head.” Give yourself permission to be imperfect as
you allow your imagination creative freedom to tell the story of your heart. Thanks for tuning into this episode on iWriterly
on how to write a book faster. If you liked what you saw, give the video
a thumbs up. It lets me know you like this type of content
and want more. If you’re new here, welcome! Consider subscribing. I post writing- and bookish-related videos
every Wednesday. If you have questions about anything we covered
today, leave those in the comments below. Be sure to connect with me on my other social
media platforms, including Twitter and Instagram. I also have a monthly newsletter, Book Nerd
Buzz, which includes exclusive insiders and giveaways for subscribers. When you subscribe to the newsletter, you’ll
receive free copies of the How to Format Your Manuscript for Submission template as well
as a querying checklist. All of the links are listed below. That’s it for today. As always, keep writing!

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