Thursday, July 11, 2013

Blog Tour & My Writing Sprint Secrets

So, if you are following my book's blog tour, you know I got two great reviews today.

First, Ronda gave me four stars and said "It's exciting, full of twists, and keeps you guessing the whole way." Loved that!  You can read her entire review here.

Second, I think this is the review I will print off and display next to my desk for when I get discouraged about writing.  Shauna said, among other things, "If Julie Bellon wrote the book you KNOW it will be GOOD!"  There were many things I liked about her review, but I think that line made my whole day.  You can read all of her review here.

So, today I saw this little gem. "Do not be afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still." Chinese Proverb

Doesn't that describe the writing process sometimes?  Especially when we're sitting there staring at the cursor hoping that the words will come?  And then we're disappointed if we only get 400 new words or something?

I had one of my sprint friends ask me how I got so many words in just one hour.  Today, I thought I'd share my process/secrets with you.

First of all, I don't edit when I'm sprinting.  I just get the words out and type like a bat out of Hades.  Editing will come later.  I'm getting the skeleton of this draft down and the fleshing out is another step entirely.

Second, before I start editing I write down a loose outline of where the chapters are going.  I usually get about two chapters done per sprint, so I like to have some direction.  It helps my word count, too, because since I know where the scene/chapter is going, it makes the ideas come faster.

Third, I set aside the sprint hour so my kids know not to interrupt and to find the person in charge while I'm sprinting. Sometimes they are so fascinated by my lightning-speed typing they sit and watch.  Haha.

Fourth, I like to do the sprints on the blog so I have other people to sprint with and celebrate with and be accountable to. That's why Wednesdays are so important to me.  It motivates me to get things going whether I feel like it or not.  People are waiting for me and that's very powerful.

And the best part about sprinting is that when that hour is up, no matter how many words you wrote, it was more than you had the hour before.  Reason for celebration in my book!  (See what I did there?)

So, there you have it.  What's your sprinting process?


Jon Spell said...

I glance at my outline, too, so I know where I'm going and then I just start writing. I felt myself getting tugged to go do some research on the fire rates of machine guns (no, really!) but, no, for the sprint, I just made up something. 120 rounds per minutes sounds plausible, no?

Last night's sprint didn't work out for me in the whole, but what I did write was good. Got me thinking, and I finally have a solution for something that's been bugging me. (Yay, I don't have to kill the medic!) She dies in my outline, but we'll just have to rewrite that bit. =)

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Jon, aren't you glad outlines are easy to change? LOL Glad you got to join us for a little while at least. :)

Debra Erfert said...

Did Silver kill her, Jon??? Teehee...

During my sprint, I was writing a first page, and did a horrible job of it. I was ill prepared, and it shows. I know now I don't want to start this story where I did last night. This time I believe I will outline before I write that real first page. Next week that sprint will be me outlining.

KaseyQ said...

Usually I’ll have a particular scene in mind that I’ll want to write and I’ll just go from there. I guess I’m a combination outliner/pantser. I know where the story is going and I have a collection of scenes in mind to get me there, but there are still a lot of blanks to fill in. Last night I didn’t have a clue where I was going so I just jumped in where I’d left off before and just waited to see what would happen. I ended up with a pretty good scene that should connect a few dots in the story, so that’s nice.

And did I mention this is my first book? ;-) 27,574 words and counting! (I owe my mom 3,000 words by midnight every Saturday- she already finished the first draft of her book!)