Guest Post: P. S. Hoffman creates essays on writing, and guides for authors. He delves into the techniques used by best-selling authors to tell unforgettable stories. His latest book, Fantastic Characters, will show you how to write addictive heroes and magnetic villains. Get more details here.
Do you want to write your novel even faster? Do you wish you could put words on the page at blazing speeds?
Fast writing isn’t just a vanity number: it can be one of the most enjoyable feelings for any author. When you’re in the zone, it feels like your world is playing out before your very eyes. The plot moves faster, the characters take shape quicker, and your writing skills improve at high speed.
Don’t forget: if you write faster, you finish your novels faster.
Novel Factory already has a great list of 11 techniques on writing faster. As a guest, I wanted to share a few of my personal favorite techniques:
1. Use Simple Language
When you reach for “the perfect word” or “the most eloquent phrasing,” you slow down everything.
Stop agonizing over word choice. Stop writing convoluted sentences. Instead, use simpler words to describe your world and your characters. Many authors—including best-sellers and literary masters—strive to achieve simple writing.
Why? Because they understand its power.
Not only is simpler language easier to write, it’s also easier for the reader to get immersed into. Readers don’t want to wade through tangles of complicated sentences. They want to devour the words, and imagine the story.
Give yourself permission to write simpler words. Get a feel for how easy (and fast) your writing becomes.
2. Spice Up the Slow Parts
Sometimes, when I’m writing a story, I’ll get bored. It feels like a slog to write. My characters take too long to do anything, the pace slows down, and I feel like I’m writing through mud.
The fix? Break something.
Smack your story with a big, unexpected event. It could be an intruder breaking in, an ex-lover coming home, or finding a gun in the wrong place. Spice up your story! Give yourself a fresh experience and boost your writing momentum.
The more conflict you can introduce, the better, because conflict begs for resolution. How will this situation resolve? The only way to find out is to let your words flow.
3. Set Rapid Deadlines
Deadlines should make your heart race. They should make you excited—ready to embrace the future! But if you set them too far out, your deadlines won’t have any punch.
A deadline 6 months from now? Not very exciting.
A deadline 60 minutes from now? Bring it on.
Use short-term, rapid deadlines to get yourself excited about writing. “I must write 1000 words in the next hour,” or “I must finish this chapter by 9 am,” can help you cut away all the distractions and make your fingers fly.
Instead of a word sprint, where you try to write as much as you can, a deadline lets you race to a specific finish line. Once you’re there, take a breath and celebrate your victory!
Thanks for reading. That’s my last technique for now.
If you’re interested in more thoughts on writing, you can check out my author blog here.
Use Writing Software that Works for You
Having software that keeps all your stories and ideas in the right place can be crucial to your writing success. Why? Because the more you write, the better you get—and knowing where your stories, outlines, and notes are makes it easy to write. No more hunting down scraps of paper. No more getting lost in your files.
Novel Factory’s writing software is designed to help writers structure, write, and finish their novels. It even has tools and templates to help you plan and plot your novel, so you can write the story you’ve always dreamed of. You can get a free trial of the software here.