Mini-experiment in writing faster

I still don’t have a full outline. Deadly irresponsible of me, like writing without a license or something, but there it is.

What I do have, however, is a list of about 15 different scenes that I think need to happen to move the story along.  I made the list, one scene per index card, while I was in the bath this morning.* I figured that with just a single thing written on each card, I could then brainstorm right on the card before working on each scene. Once I picked the ideas I liked best, or the ones that made the most sense, I could put them into the synopsis part of Scrivener and have a record, right on the screen, of the ideas I wanted to include.**

I followed that plan this morning to see if knowing what I wanted to cover in a given scene actually helped me to write faster. I’m pleased to report that it did.

Normally, I can write about 300-350 words in approximately 10 minutes (unless I am doing a writing exercise that doesn’t have to fit anything else, then I can do more). This morning I wrote a scene that was a little tangly with detail, about 450 words in about 11 minutes. I probably would have gone faster but I had to stop and think of the names of a few spices, and I had to imagine some geographical detail (not my strong point).  So, this mini-experiment was a success: having a plan did help me write more.

Now I need to take the lesson learned and make it work in a bigger context, but, like I said, it will have to wait until Wednesday.



*Apparently hot water helps me think, so when I’m stuck, I either need to drink tea, soak in the tub, or take a long shower in order to get my brain working again.

**The next stage of my plan is to do my thinking, my brainstorming and my synopsis-ing for the rest of the book at once, but I’m not going to have several hours to do that until Wednesday and in the meantime, I must continue writing.