As you may have heard, I wrote 98,000 words in 5 days.* This is not quite the average feat for me…or probably anyone. Except maybe writers who live in Antartica and have nothing to do except avoid icicles and polar bears so just stay indoors and write all day. ** But it’s now my new personal writing best. OH! And the good news is: I keep smashing my personal best goals so pretty soon I’ll be finishing writing before I start! HOW DREADFULLY WONDERFUL.
Today I’m sharing three things: a) an outline of my day when I’m binge writing, ergo b) basically my first-draft writing process, and oh yes; c) snippets.
EXCITING, IS IT NOT? *** (Shhh, it is.)
* Now, I’m not repeating it to brag! I’m actually terrified of you squinting at me and going “Well, gawsh, all she does is yabber on about her speedy writing skills and I kinda want to drop her down a dark well” and then have you never reading Paper Fury again. First of all: DON’T DO THIS. I wouldn’t like it. And second of all: not everyone reads ALL of my posts, so I have to repeat things. So pleeeeease, don’t think I’m bragging, okay?
** What? You think there isn’t a group of people like this? PROVE ME WRONG.
*** Oh and I did write knowing Camp NaNoWriMo was going down, but I didn’t join into any cabins because I’m a hermit. But it is nice writing in months when I know dozens of other people are stressing out over writing too. THE CAMARADERIE. HUZZAH.
(NOTE: I would just like you to know that I work from home due to physical/mental health issues, so I’m able to clear my schedule for, say, 5 days if I want to do nothing but write. I also treat writing a bit like a job, since I’d like it to be a career someday. As of yet: it’s not though. SAD FACE. Anyway: I am not a mystical creature who has 24 hours to do with as she pleases. OKAY? OKAY. GOOD TALK.)
MY FIRST-DRAFT WRITING PROCESS
(Well, sorta. This is a rough estimation of how my day would go down).
4:30am — Wake because Daylight Savings literally just ended this week, the week you genius decided to write, ergo you are awake at this UNGODLY HOUR and it’s very dark and your dog is sleeping on your head. Vaguely you think of the plot hole from yesterday, but seriously? You kind of lie there catatonically. Because 4:30am, dude.
5:20am — Oh screw it. You usually are a 6am waker, but close enough.
5:30am — Draaaaaag dog on a 2.3km walk/run. Dearest Doggy Atticus, whom you bought SPECIFICALLY as a running-partner actually hates the idea of exercise. #typical During this time you go over some scenes you’ve imagined 394839 times because a) it’s kind of like a movie in your head which is fun, and b) it helps you to write them later.
6:00am — Emails. Shower. Breakfast.
7:00am — Vague contact with the Family Unit so they remember you exist. Complete various jobs around the house. Like killing freaking spiders that think your bathroom is their bathroom. #HowAboutNo
8:00am — Open Scrivener. DO NOT AT ANY POINT LOOK AT WHAT YOU WROTE YESTERDAY. Study the outline. Tell yourself you have a minimum of 15,000 words to write today. Because so far you have NOT written less during this book.
8:01am — Atticus The Fluffy Mutt decides it’s nap time and honestly, he’s the only smart one around here. He curls up at your legs and is comforting motivation.
9:00am — Having written 2,000-words you break to wander vaguely upstairs while your smallest sister leaves for school. You jump on a trampoline for a few minutes because a) you are a child truly, and b) exercise is insanely good to get the creative juices flowing. Honestly. You might hang out washing. Clean the ceiling. #NotProcrastinating Also you find your dog has ripped open the lounge pillows (WHEN DID HE EVEN HAVE TIME) and you must clean that up while lecturing him about safety hazards with he ignores, the ungrateful little wretch. Pretend you are not on twitter. When in fact you are tweeting snippets because it amuses you.
9:30am — Write write write. Atticus naps naps naps.
10:30am — Your mother, WHOM YOU LOVE DEARLY RIGHT NOW, possibly has made a coffee or a dandelion latte. You twitter while you drink. And check your blog’s stats because you’re worried they’re plummetting while you’re on hiatus.
10:31am — Turns out your abandon blog’s stats are AWESOME. You vow never to blog again because they’re honestly better while you’re away. And you’re also writing like a demented bat, but pfft. This is the first draft. Mistakes are life.
10:50am — Get back to writing. You nearly have 5,000-words by now. Most of your characters are mangled which is posing a problem.
11:30am — Whenever you write something funny, you vaguely edit the 3 lines or so and then screenshot them so you can admire your genius later.
12:00pm — LUNCH TIME OH GLORIOUS INVENTION.You have 10,000-words. Food is your reward. Your fingers are vaguely tired. Your dog hates you because why the heck aren’t you playing ball? jERk. Also you’re like 90% sure that what you’re writing is UTTER RUBBISH, plus your characters are all dying/dead/mostly dead. But whatever. You need food.
12:40pm — WRITE…at least another 1,000-words. Atticus has realised if he licks your fingers while you’re typing he gets attention. Sneak.
1:30pm — Collapse catatonically on bed and try to go over the next few scenes in your head. Honestly this is one of your BEST ways to be able to write fast. The book is a movie just waiting to be transcribed.
3:00pm — Feeling
like death vaguely refreshed, you eat an apple, then … ready for this? WRITE WRITE WRITE. It’s weird, but writing is the ONLY thing you can do for hours. For everything else, you have the attention span of a hyperactive grape.
5:00pm — You know have 14,000-words and are kind of unfocused and laugh dementedly at things (like that magpie outside your window doing nothing that deserves hysterical laughter…that’s just where you’re at). Go for the same walk you took in the morning, again with Atticus protesting and complaining that he wasn’t BORN FOR THIS TORTURE.
6:00pm — Dinner. Oh sweet dinner. Both you and Atticus agree it’s a grand time of day. You’re pretty happy with your word-count. You’re NOT thinking how you described something as “metally metal” or how your secondary character is more awesome than your protagonist or how autocorrect is THE ENEMY and your book is going to need translating into English, probably.
7:00pm — Baaaaack to writing. After, um, checking the internet, particularly twitter. I LUV U TWITTER. Write with more breaks than usual because you are seriously getting TIRED now.
9:40pm — Q.U.I.T. You quit. You absolutely quit for the night. You have 22,000-words which is your NEW PERSONAL RECORD for words in a day. You are extremely excited but you try to formulate a calm tweet because everyone thinks you’re psychotic enough. Probably answer a few messages/texts and update instagram.
10:30pm — Go fetch your dog from watching TV with your dad (no joke; the dog literally likes a good action movie apparently) and collapse into bed. Well, 1/4 of the bed because Atticus (who is actually classified as a “small dog” takes up the rest). S.L.E.E.P. Sort of. You are not the world’s best sleeper. So actually envision what you’re going to write tomorrow. Particularly since all your characters ARE DOWN AND WOUNDED DANGIT. You’ll have to write them out of their tragic pickles tomorrow.
4:30am — And then it starts aaaaall over again.
You can read more about the origins of my story (The Never Never Prince) over here. To quickly sum up, it’s a Genghis Khan retelling set in a post-apocalyptic desert world with DRAGONS (!!) And Shay has to prove himself a worthy next Khan by taking over Europe, assassinating stuff, and being generally awful — along with his little team (Altai; who hates him & Roo; who is an idiot) until his long lost daddy-o comes back from a dragon hunt to wipe out Europe. * He has a crush on the Princess he’s supposed to kill. Lots of stabbing. Lots of shooting things.
* Sorry, Europe. But if it makes you feel better, America isn’t even in the story? Because ALL DYSTOPIANS ARE ABOUT AMERICA, so let’s have some balance here. My main settings are Mongolia and Eastern Europe.
Follow Cait’s board WIP The Never Never Prince on Pinterest.
(This is the first sentence. It’s actually a very tragic/bloody book; with a TON of humour mixed in despite being quite sad…because child soldiers are sad.)
Thank you to EVERYONE for supporting my writing by either a) telling me encouraging things on twitter, b) cheering me on, because do you realise how entirely amazing that is??!! and motivating?!?! eeep; also c) for just reading this post. THANK YOU. THANK YOU A LOT.
I would vaguely like to put this one up on wattpad but it needs editing x 1000%, so it might not be soon? But just the fact that several people have asked is — IT’S A SURREAL MOMENT OF JOY FOR ME, OKAY?!!? OKAY.