How I wrote 18,000 words in 24 hours 2

Seeing my daughter off at the airport

My daughter was leaving for an 18-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Philippines the next day, which was a Tuesday. I wanted to take the day off then, but I had a manuscript due to the editor the day before. I needed another 18,000 words to reach my minimum manuscript word count goal of 40,000.

For the record, I only type on the computer, and don’t dictate. On a good day, I can usually get 5,000 words. The most I had ever written in 24 hours was 12k.

On Monday morning, I got up at six and started sprinting. Here were some things that helped me:

I was super excited about my story. It was a forbidden romance trope with a strong emotional arc so I had a lot of internal dialogue. I have noticed that if my trope has a lot of delicious push-pull, I have a much easier–and faster–time writing the story.

Instead of my usual 500 words for every 20 minutes, I was typing into the 700-800s.

After I reached 30,000 words and The End, I went back and added details and emotion to the scenes. A chapter or two. Doing this, I added another 10k words.

I sprinted against others for 20 minutes on and ten minutes off, at the top and half hour.

I still did stuff with my daughter that night—walking and talking for a good hour and getting a shake—and then stayed up to finish the manuscript when she went to bed.

As my manuscript wound down, and I needed more words, I made a quick list of extra scenes and wrote those in.

My setting is fictional, so I didn’t need to do a lot of research and could just freely write.

Deadlines really motivate me. Knowing that I had to get my ms to my editor pushed me.

By five a.m., I was done. My daughter came down on her way to feeding the horses early so she could ride later that morning.

“Did you ever sleep?” she asked, blinking like a baby owl.

“Nope,” I said.

But I was able to spend time with her and the family later that day.

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