Writing Method Shared With My Fellow Writer
I have a suggestion, Laura: do exactly the opposite of Nanowrimo.
Ever feel hungry but get to the restaurant, order a meal and have it come to your table in a heaping pile on your plate and suddenly lose your appetite. "God, how'll I ever eat all this?"
The late best selling novelist Graham Greene had an ideas that he used religiously.
I read that Graham Greene, playwright and novelist with over 30 titles to his name, wrote precisely 500 words daily. Not a word more, even if he was on a roll. Then he’d look over the words, add a little polish, but keep going the next day for another 500 words.
Greene was a bestselling full time novelist; we are working people with kids and families. How should we use the Graham Greene system for our busy lives?
250 words each day. No more, no less. Staying with his “rule” kept it pure and simple. If one could cheat up to 500 one day, then none because of something going on the next day, it loses its focus. It becomes easier to say we missed it one day, so I’ll make it up this weekend, and it never happens. Like working out at the gym, the body that misses the work out cannot really make it up later. Or the farmer that misses planting season can’t really sow the crops later. It has to follow the rule.
250 words a day is one page of typed text—double spaced! It’s next to nothing. This post is 207 words to right here—this point—and I did it in five minutes.
But, aha, we all need to keep in mind (me, too; this write-up is for me) that a competed manuscript is about 365-400 pages. At 250 measly words a day, every day (even if we have to write on the toilet, on a plane, while waiting at the school , etc.) is a novel in one year.
The same system can be used for editing (e.g. edit with a fine comb 250 words daily--maybe even 500). The key is the snack sized morsels.
Cheers, my friend. (P.S. Total count of this post, 286 words!)