How I wrote a 50,000-word novel in 5 days – Part 3

It’s all about efficiency so you can have balance in your life. The day I finished my novel, I spent most of the afternoon with my family.

This is Part 3 of a 3-part series. For five days, from June 26-30, 2018, I wrote a 50,000-word contemporary romance novel after an epiphany at a writer’s retreat. Read Part 1 – Journal here. Read Part 2 – Pre-Writing here. Her Billionaire Bodyguard is now published. Check it out here.

How to write a 50,000-word novel in 5 days:

1.Sprint with others. The competition and accountability will force you to write. Arrange it ahead of time with your family that they shouldn’t disturb you while you are sprinting. I just say, “I’m sprinting,” and they know they can talk to me in 20 minutes. If you can’t sprint with others, sprint and time yourself. Fast-writing by yourself is a skill you can train yourself to do over time.

2.Figure out character names and setting details ahead so you don’t have to waste time as you write. Keep track of new characters on a master list. If you can’t remember or figure out a name, just write “whats-his-bucket” or a generic “the maid.”

3.If your outline goes haywire, take a deep breath and just keep writing. You’re a writer, make something up! You might just stumble upon a great plot point or character reveal. If you need to do more research, just make a placeholder note and keep going. Between sprints, re-outline if needed. For me, putting short phrases in caps in my Scrivener scenes reminds me of what happens next and which chapters still need words.

4.Speaking of Scrivener, use the Project Targets to give you a visual of where you are sitting on your wordcount overall, daily, and scene goals. There are probably other programs out there that can accomplish this, but I’ve really liked Scrivener. Check it out here.

5.Add scenes that can lead to substantial writing in terms of character development, action or setting. It’s harder to keep the words flowing if you are jumping from short scene to short scene.

6.Sprint first thing or the soonest you can during the day. Set a daily word count goal and stick to it. Break it up to morning and afternoon goals. Be ambitious while recognizing your limitations. This will allow you to still have a life and balance. After morning sprints, take care of your family, your job, etc., then get back to more sprinting.

7.Pick a week when you can get lots of writing time. Luckily, my youngest was at girls camp and the hubby was at work. If you have other scheduling obligations, clear a block of time so you don’t have interruptions to your writing.

8.Pray about it. Express gratitude in prayer. The universe will in turn bless you in abundance.

9.Record your wordcounts every time you sprint. I put mine in a note on my phone. Soon, you will see a pattern of how many words you could produce in 15 minutes, 20 minutes, etc. It’s motivating to see the numbers add up. I make a game of seeing if I could break my record. The numbers will also let you know what wordcount you still need. If your goal is to write a novel in five days, divide up your overall wordcount goal by five and do it. Believe you can.

10.Determine your best writing time and write then. I discovered that after lunch, I was too sleepy. Mornings and evenings were my best time.

11.Get up and take physical breaks as much as you can but don’t allow for too long of breaks. Seize your story’s momentum while your head is still in the zone.

12.Schedule time for exercise. I exercise three mornings a week, for an hour. Writing requires stamina, and this will give you energy. It can be something as simple as brisk walking, climbing stairs, gardening, etc.

13.Stay off FB unless you are sprinting.

14.To stay alert, snack on sugar-free gum. Nuts and trail mix are also good options.

15.Sprint without music. I find that without music, I immerse myself in my fictional world easier.

So there you have it. I have written slow before, I have written fast. Overall, I think the quality of my work is better with fast writing. The story flows better and I don’t have lag times where I forget what my book is about. Plus, the draft is done before I am bored with it and I can move on to revising. Yay!

Thanks for reading and good luck! I hope these tips help. The biggest thing is believe you can do it! Feel free to comment if you have questions or tips to share. Check out my Amazon author page here. Subscribe to my newsletter here. To learn how to write and publish fast for profit, read my book Rapid Release.