Sunday, April 22, 2012

Loved Fast Draft!

For two weeks from April 1 until April 14, I worked with a group of wonderful women from one of my local RWA chapters in doing a Fast Draft and let me tell you, it made a believer out of me.

Fast Draft is program set up and created by the wonderful Candace Havens to help plotters and pantsers alike get the first draft of a story started (or finished).  It was similar to Boot Camp for this Navy Veteran--but in a good way.  I learned just how far I could reach a goal.  Though I did keep up with the grueling 5,000 words a day for the first five days of the two week session, Easter weekend tripped me up but I still maintained a comfortable, approximately 2,000-4,500 words a day from there on.

At the end of the two weeks instead of having the 70,000 words intended (if you continue with 5k a day for two weeks), I still had a satisfying 45,000 words.  If you consider NaNoWriMo, the program in which you write 50,000 words in a month it--45k in two week is not too shabby at all.  (Yes, I've done two years of NaNoWriMo so I know 50k in a month can be done, too.)

But more importantly whether I made 'the' goal, I learned some valuable lessons. 
  • I needed something to inspire me to just sit and write again (don't think-just write).
  • I can set daily writing goals and achieve a good number of words a day.  Even a couple thousand words a day can get a story done.
  • I can be like the great Nora Roberts and write for 6-8 hours a day and pump out 5,000 words --though she probably has a higher word count. (Just might not be able to do it all the time).  Love her and her stamina! She's my heroine!
  • I learned my characters write the story--I'm just along for the ride.  (Which I hear is fabulous from some authors I've talked to lately.)
  • It's okay to have your plot change a bit--just keep writing. Don't stop!  Make the changes and editions later. (Take notes as you go along.)
  • Setting up 1,000 words in an hour (1k1h) sessions is fun for you and friends.  Take breaks in between to exercise, catch up on housework (change over that load of laundry), pick up the kids from school, prep dinner, etc.  MAKE SURE YOU STRETCH AND GET UP!  (Otherwise you will be sore and stiff.)
With these lessons in mind I realized even though I'm still pre-published, I CAN be the author I always dreamed of being.  I CAN get a first draft done in a month or less, I DO have time to write, I CAN still have a family life and my writing life.


  1. Hi Loni,
    Congratulations on this huge accomplishment! Right now I'm in the third week of my first month-long writing bootcamp. Reading your thoughts has given me a burst of clarity to finish up the last week strong. I was starting to worry about a few of the turns my WIP has taken that I've allowed to go without editing and your fifth bullet just allowed me to let out a nice big sigh of relief! Thanks!

  2. Carlene,
    Thanks! Good work on the writing bootcamp. I've been told over and over when you write--just write. Don't go back and edit/revise/etc. Just make the notes and move on as if the changes were already accounted for.

    All is good! You can do it!