2,000 to 10,000 – How to write faster, write better, and write more of what you love by Rachel Aaron
Reviewed by Patricia Knoll
Rachel Aaron is the author of Fantasy and Science Fiction novels who quit her job a few years ago to write fulltime and take care of her infant son. While still working at her old job, she managed to write about 2,000 words a day, which isn’t too sappy. When she became a fulltime writer, she expected to have a much higher word count since she had many more hours in which to write, but it didn’t turn out that way. She still was only writing about 2,000 words a day. She set out to discover why and made some interesting discoveries about herself and her writing process.
What she came up with is a triangle of things she must accomplish in order to increase her word count. They are Knowledge, Time, and Enthusiasm.
Knowledge: She learned that her writing pace ground to a halt when she was trying to plot as she wrote, or trying to figure out what should happen next. Her solution was to write down notes of what’s going to happen in each scene before she wrote it. At the beginning of each writing session, she took five minutes to complete a quick description of what she was going to write that day.
Time: Rachel made a spreadsheet (Be still my heart! I adore spreadsheets because they can tell you so much.) She kept track of what time she started writing, what time she stopped, how many words she wrote, and the location where she was writing. She discovered that she wrote best in coffee shops where she didn’t have internet access. She also found out that the longer she wrote, the faster she wrote, and the better she wrote.
Enthusiasm: She realized that she wrote lickety-split on some scenes and others dragged. After thinking about it, she saw that the scenes she’d been looking forward to writing went fast and well, while others, such as descriptions or background, didn’t. She started using her five minute planning session to get excited about the scenes she would be writing that day, finding the fun parts, the hooks, the emotional bits that made it exciting. Those were the things that moved her story forward.
Following the guidelines she set for herself, she has increased her writing production to 10,000 words a day.
Rachel seems to be a very analytical person who figured out what works for her. Those of us who aren’t as analytical can benefit from her hard work to become more productive.
I bought this as an ebook for my Kindle. It’s fast and easy to read, understand, and follow. She has many more hints in the book, talking about characters and three act structure, for example. One of the things I liked best about this book is Rachel’s positive, upbeat tone regarding the whole process of writing. While she doesn’t make it seem easy, with her suggestions, it’s doable and enjoyable.