One sure-fire way to increase your writing word count

writing word count

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One of my goals is to be more productive and improve my writing word count each day. Heading down the indie publishing route, it’s particularly important.

However, some days writing can feel like a chore. Not because you’re not reaching your writing word count, but just because you can’t get the words from your head onto the page.

Over the past few months, I’ve discovered a little trick that has super-charged my writing. It has increased my daily word count, made the writing flow much easier, and allowed the story as a whole to flow.

Now, for those pantsters out there you’re not going to like it. But bear with me for just a moment, because it’s not full plotter mode. You may even like it.

So what is my secret weapon?

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Writing in scenes!!

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I know. It’s a bit underwhelming, isn’t it? It’s nothing new. In fact, many of you probably already write in scenes. But if you don’t, if you’re someone who just writes in narrative, or writes in chapters, I tell you, it will blow your mind.

 

So, what does writing in scenes mean?

Novels comprise of chapters, and chapters comprise of scenes. Think of it like a movie or tv show. Each scene has action (something happening), and each scene must have a purpose and help move the story forward. If it doesn’t, it shouldn’t be in your book!

So when it comes to writing, instead of thinking of the story as a whole, or even in chapters, think about sitting down to write a scene. Whether you’re halfway through a scene or beginning a new one each time you sit down, doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you know where the scene is going and why it is there.

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Planning your scene

Before actually writing, I think about the scene I’m about to write. I ask myself what is going to happen and how it moves the story forward. Is it a scene where there is a lot of action? It is a scene that develops a relationship? Is it a scene that reveals something pivotal to the reader? Or is it simply introducing characters and setting the story up?

Now think about the characters needed for the scene, and things such as tone, setting, and even external things such as the weather, all the while keeping in mind the purpose of your scene. This helps to breathe life into your scene. You should be able to visualise who is there, where they are, and what is happening.

Whether you do all this in your head or write it down doesn’t matter. As long as you are clear. Plotters will take this methodology even further, perhaps aiming for key points of action or dialogue. Pantsters, this is where you can stop thinking, and start writing. (I can hear the cheers already!)

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Start writing

You know the scene, the setting, the characters, and the purpose. You are aware of how this scene fits into the big picture of your story and how it moves the story forward. Now get writing! That’s it!

 

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Writing in scenes isn’t rocket science and it may not work for everyone, but using this method has allowed me to, at a minimum, add 1,000 words a day to my current work in progress. My best day has been over 5,000 words! So I can tell you it works!

The other benefit of writing in scenes is, you’ll find it much easier to move from scene to scene. Your story will flow better from the very first draft. One less thing you need to worry about through subsequent drafts!

Like anything in writing, there is no right or wrong way to write. The key is finding what works best for you (and that can be different things at different times!). But, if you find yourself struggling, or hounded by consistent writer’s block, I suggest you give this a try.

Happy writing!

 

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