Tips for writng fast


Written on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 by haleigh

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

So at Barnes and Noble last week, I came across the Book in a Month guide. I'm not sure I could - or would want to - write a book in a month, but this had some great tips for writing fast. (It also had some great charts and workshops downloadable from the author's website without buying the book.)

Two great tips have really stuck out to me. The first is writing "as-if." I often find myself making fairly significant changes to character or plot, esp at the beginning, which forces me to go back and change everything coming before it. The author's tip: jot a note as to the change, and continue writing "as-if" you did make that change already. Mark down the page # where you started writing with the change, so that you can easily go back and fix it.

Another idea was about research. This is the one that's really saved me time. Instead of researching things as you go, jot a note as to what you need to research, and keep writing. So as I was writing along last week and realized I needed a Palestinian name for a character. So I googled "common Palestinian male names" and then spent an hour on Wikipedia learning how Arabic names are structured, all the different types of names they have (no easy first, middle, last in Arabic!), and which names are religious vs. secular.

Instead, had I been following these tips, I could have just jotted down, "Check Palestinian names, chapter 2, scene 1" and spent that hour writing another page or two. But then again, I wouldn't know that the Ism usually has a religious prefix, and comes before the Kunya name, which you only receive after the birth of your first-born. Wow.

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  1. Kelly Krysten |

    WOW! That's some interesing suff(about the names, I mean).
    You know, those really are great tips on writing. The temptation to stall(for lack of a better word) is always there.
    Now I NEVER stall anymore(thanks you, NaNo!) but totally FORGET important things. So I think I'm going to use these tips. Okay, and why the heck has this never occurred to me before? What's wrong with my brain, Hal? What's wrong with it????LOL!

  2. haleigh |

    hey Kelly! the jotting notes about research has really been a big help to me, time-wise.

    And silly, there's nothing wrong with your brain! You're a writer! It's all excusable ;)

  3. Jessica |

    Now that's some research I wouldn't want to do. Glad you enjoyed it. :-)

  4. haleigh |

    Yeah, I'm weird, aren't I? LOL.


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