NaNo LotD 28: 10k in a Day?!

Think you can do 10,000 words in a day? Daniel Swenson has a guest post on WriMosFTW worth checking out.

Even if 10k is out of reach (I admit, after 5k my brain stops remembering English, which is a shame because no one around me understands Barbarian), these tips are solid to make sure that your writing day is a good one.

Quotey Goodness:

7. Identify your enemies and strike them down.

Here’s your big chance to probe your weaknesses and bulldoze over the top of them. Do you lose minutes searching for just the right word? Settle for second best and move on. Do you drag yourself down with lengthy exposition? Dump it.

This is also a great time to find your strengths and play to them. Can you write endless pages of dialogue without fatigue? Great! Remember, this is word-count triage; find the tools that work and use them, no matter how messy things get.

Oh, but this isn’t all! Rachel Aaron over at her blog Pretentious Title wrote up how she accomplishes 10k in a 5-hour writing session.

Because it’s awesome:

If you want to write faster, the first step is to know what you’re writing before you write it. I’m not even talking about macro plot stuff, I mean working out the back and forth exchanges of an argument between characters, blocking out fights, writing up fast descriptions. Writing this stuff out in words you actually want other people to read, especially if you’re making everything up as you go along, takes FOREVER. It’s horribly inefficient and when you get yourself in a dead end, you end up trashing hundreds, sometimes thousands of words to get out. But jotting it down on a pad? Takes no time at all. If the scene you’re sketching out starts to go the wrong way, you see it immediately, and all you have to do is cross out the parts that went sour and start again at the beginning. That’s it. No words lost, no time wasted. It was god damn beautiful.

Five minutes of planning before you start writing can save you a lot of time.

Need another author’s advice on productivity? Dean Wesley Smith tackles the Myth of Writing Slow. Words to live by:


In my experience, the “feeling of the writer” myth is very strong. I don’t talk much about writing to non-writers but when I have, I’ve encountered a lot of resistance. People don’t understand. Sometimes I’m totally lukewarm about what I’m working on and some days I hate what I’ve written. And during NaNo, we absolutely don’t have time to get happy with it so we keep moving.

But here’s the thing. Hating or loving the work is neither here nor there. Loving it doesn’t make it good or fun to read and hating something doesn’t mean it’s bad or unreadable. That’s just how you felt, nothing more.

I think it’s important to remember that as we head into NaNoWriMo, especially as the initial rush of excitement wears off and the work sets in. Please, please remember that how-you-feel as you write is not how your story is going. Just keep plodding away. You’ll forget you had that headache on the third day, and when you’re revising that chapter in January the text won’t reveal how uncomfortable you were writing it at the dentist’s office.

How are you going to make sure your month is productive?

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7 Responses to NaNo LotD 28: 10k in a Day?!

  1. storymultiverse says:

    For me, the most important thing is this simple fact: you can write almost anywhere, almost anytime. In truth, the writing can take place entirely inside your head (although of course the danger is that you won’t remember it later). I will frequently plot out scenes, dialogue, character descriptions, etc. all in my head while I’m laying in bed, or in the shower, and then write them down the first chance I get.

    • barb says:

      Very good advice, storymultiverse. I am guilty of convincing myself that I have “needs to write,” if I don’t have my normal space or computer or *insert lame excuse here*. Part of getting the work done is getting over that and just getting the work done, right? 🙂

  2. Kitty says:

    Once again, some valuable links from you, Barb! I love your blog. And I love the idea of trying to pump out 10k in a day. I may even try to do that early on in Nanowrimo just to make sure I’ve got a good cushion. This year, my secret weapon (I hope) will be my netbook that fits inside my over-large purse and can conveniently pop out whenever I have a few minutes to pound out some words!

    • barb says:

      Thank you, Kitty! I haven’t committed to 10k in a day but it’s a good way of thinking. Like you, I’d rather do it early than later, too. If you do a big writing spurt in the beginning, you’re an overachiever! I hope your netbook stays charged all month long. 🙂

  3. Ann Elise says:

    My biggest key to success (and I’ve already hit 50k lol) is to have an outline all worked out in advance. It’s worked so well for me that I might do it for my other books too, since this is the first outline I’ve ever written. I’ve written a 10k and 11k day. The first one was on the first day. Easy. The second one a few days later. Nearly killed me, but pushed me most of the way to 50k.

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