100 Days of Writing: Day 21
“The actual writing time is a lot shorter than the thinking time”
Harlan Coben said this which means (a) that’s great because he’s a real-life best-selling author so he knows his onions and (b) it’s officially ok that it’s basically an accurate picture of how my day has panned out.
And of course it’s true. Writing a book involves much more than typing the words and arranging them in a way that enables a reader to lose themselves in a world you made up in your head. Of course it does.
Assuming you’ve got an idea and decided that it’s substantial enough to become a novel, there’s a whole stack of planning, research, plot development, character development, mapping out of storylines, subplots etc etc to be done.
It takes bloody AGES and doing it can look a lot like this:
I have to admit, it’s one of my least favourite parts of the process. I’m impatient and not adding to the day’s wordcount always feels unproductive. So on days when thinking time is necessary, I try and at least get a few paragraphs written, even if they get deleted later, just to say to myself I made some progress.
Most books on writing recognise that people work in different ways and adapt their advice accordingly. So whether you like to plan everything to the enth degree before even one word is typed, or whether you like to draft and plan, draft and plan, alongside one another, there are tips to maximise your productivity.
A book I’ve found particularly useful is Rachel Aaron’s ‘2,000 to 10,000, How to write faster, write better and write more of what you love’.
So go right ahead and think the pants off yourself. It’s important. Just don’t forget the writing bit afterwards…