Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Why Outlining is soooo Awesome

I’ve said before that I hate to brag. I still do, though it’s a lot easier when all my dear readers congratulate me. Regardless of how special you all make me feel, I try to only demonstrate my awesomeness when it’s useful to my readers. Ergo, even though this is going to sound conceited, there is a point. I promise.
On November 1 from midnight to midnight the next day, I wrote 10,000 words.
I started to wonder how high my word count was when my fingers started to hurt at 6,500 words. After that, I kept typing and thinking to myself, “Holy cow, am I really still writing? Do I still have stuff to say?” I basically stared in amazement at my furiously typing fingers.
How on earth did I go from taking five years to write Sacred Fire to writing 10,000 words in one day?
Here is the point:
I came up with the idea for Fierce ten months ago and have been stewing on it ever since. Two months ago, I started to prep for the book. At one point it got boring and I started to wonder if writing 18,000 words of notes would be worth my time.
Totally worth it.
I’ve never had an outline so thorough, and I’ve never typed faster in my life. Some books don't lend themselves to this pace, and some authors just have a different style. That's okay.  However, if you can do the prep work I talked about in my How to Prepare for a Novel series, I highly recommend giving it a try. I’m going to do this from now on.
Here's a more important point:
 Last year, I struggled to get in my 50,000 words. I ended up writing almost exactly the right amount, and getting in those last words felt like wringing out a rag.
I would look at people on the Nano forums who had 100,000 words and wonder how it was even possible, and then feel like trash. It was silly; as if writing 50k in a month is such a failure!
If you write at all, you're doing something amazing. If you even attempt Nano, it will help your writing. If you win, you will have achieved a great feat that a hundred thousand writers lust after and only a third of them reach. If you feel you're able to push yourself harder...
...go for it.


  1. Yay you! I'm seriously impressed. :)

    And I agree-- I'm all for outlining. That's how I was able to punch out a first draft of my last book in just over a month. It's amazing how much it helps!

  2. Wow you're awesome! I only got 1700 words out yesterday.

  3. You're shaming me, and tempting me. Maybe next year....

  4. That is some well deserved braggery. You're 20% done in one day. You, my dear, ROCK!

    Great point about the outline, though, I don't have one so in depth. I'm very glad to see it's getting you ahead of the game. Maybe you'll finish by Sunday and can start on revisions for the rest of NaNo :-)

  5. This post is freaking GOLDEN!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. Yes, without planning, I end up no where. Of course, I don't write 18k words of notes but what I do is enough for me.

    And ZOMG!! 10,000 words!

  7. Dayum! I thought I was doing pretty good and chugging out 5,922 words yesterday! I have a serious migraine today and the light was killing me today. Its getting better so hopefully I can chug out a few thousand this evening. My mind is more active at night anyway. :)

    But congrats!

    I added you to my writing buddy list but with the site wipe it cleared my whole list. If you give me your Nano SN, I can add you again. :)

  8. Wow, you are amazing! I can't even imagine being able to do that. You are seriously an inspiration to me!

  9. I've given you some awards also, Teralyn.

  10. Thanks everybody, and thanks Brooke! M.S. Tucker, 5,922 words isn't too shabby at all! That's 3,922 words more than I did my first day last year.

  11. I didn't get as many words in my second day, mostly because I'm uncomfortable writing sex scenes at work. I reduced the font to as small as possible so no one could look over my shoulder, but I was still to nervous. I had to wait until I got home.

  12. I love outlines and plans! I'm completely stuck without them.

    I feel like that's a challenge. One of the days this month I'll have to see if I can get 10,000 in one! lol.

  13. That was a goal I had, but I never thought I'd actually be able to do it. Give it a try! It's and adventure.


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