How to Write Well, Fast: Fiction | LET’S GET PUBLISHED

The point is to force yourself to write regularly, as much as possible, without putting in too much or too little time on just one project.


Writing fiction is hard. Doing it well, and doing it as quickly as possible, is even more of a challenge. You can do it. Just keep the following things in mind as you write.

Give yourself a daily word count

Not a minimum or a limit: a word count. Something you will be able to look at once and stick with for the remainder of your project. This might mean you allow yourself 1,500 words five days a week, Monday through Friday. It might mean 2,000 words seven days a week. You could potentially even set a goal to write 10,000 words daily (possible, but honestly, probably not recommended).

The point is to force yourself to write regularly, as much as possible, without putting in too much or too little time on just one project. If you write too much, chances are the quality of your work is going to start decreasing. If you write too little, you’re not technically writing all that quickly, are you?

Save research for later

Research is important even when we’re writing fiction, but you don’t have to be an expert to write about whatever you want. Eventually, you’ll have to get your facts straight (please do). But remember that no first draft is perfect, and if you spend all your time researching and none of it actually writing, you’ll never have a finished first draft to perfect.

This does NOT mean that you can or should publish something inaccurate. It means that, for now, you’re going to focus on the story and moving the plot forward, and worry about perfecting the details later. For example, if you were writing about a police officer and knew nothing about what a police officer does on a daily basis, it’s going to save you a lot of time now if you do your best with what you think you know, focus on the story itself and return to getting it all right at a later time when the story is mostly written.

Know what’s coming next

As we mentioned last week, a primary reason why we often stop writing in the middle of a good workflow is not being sure where we’re going to go next with a story. This is a lot easier to avoid than you might think: just plan it out, in however much or however little detail you want.

You might have to do some quick outlining, meaning you might spend five or 10 minutes prior to the start of your designated writing time planning out what you’re going to write that day. You don’t necessarily have to get into specifics, but in general you’ll probably have an idea in your head of what’s going to happen next in your story. Jot down some bullet points, so you don’t have too many of those “whiteout” moments (when you stop writing, intending to think through your next move, but instead just end up completely spacing out).

Check out more of our LET’S GET PUBLISHED series and feel free to leave a comment down below with any questions you have related to writing, publishing, experience, etc.

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