I have a confession to make. My latest book has been intractable. Or maybe that’s just me? Anyway, words aren’t working, plots aren’t cohesive, characters keep slipping their reins and changing their spots. It’s enough to make even the sanest writer wiggy.
I did what I could. For instance, I went over everyone’s motivations and conflicts. I replotted everything from the Big Bad Troublemaker’s point of view. Which gave me all sorts of things to throw at the Hero and the Heroine. All good, right? And I came up with a long list of scenes to write.
I thought I was set until I got to the actual writing. Every action seemed to have to be written. He got into the car. She buckled her seat belt. They breathed. They looked at each other. He started the car. See what I mean? I bored myself to tears.
Two things came to my rescue. First off, Savvy Authors is having their May bootcamp challenge. I’m going to be writing 60k this month, or 2,000 words a day. Okay. I can handle that as I’m not currently working a day job and my children are old enough to take care of themselves. I’m with a fantastic group of authors and we’re all kicking ass on our manuscripts (I’m not about to let them down!).
But I still had that …and then they went to the office, and then they went to kill the demon, and then they… well, you get the idea. I had that problem. Which is where Twitter saved my ass.
Excuse me? Why did you giggle? Oh, you’re not on Twitter. That’s okay. I fought it for a long time, too. But you know what? Right now it’s the single most powerful tool I have for getting words on the page.
Behold – I present to you the power of #1k1hr. The first time I saw that flash by on Twitter, (I believe it was Skylar Kade that I first saw using it), I admit I was intrigued. They were usually talking about how many words they had gotten done during the past hour.
Oh. OH! One thousand words in one hour. I GET it! So when Zoe Archer put out a call last week or so for anyone up for #1k1hr, I hopped in. Why not? It wasn’t a marriage – it was simply someone to hold me accountable for my wordage. Heck, she’s a fabulous writer and I didn’t want to look stupid in front of her, so add that in to the equation, too.
We began at the :15 (since on Twitter, not everyone is in the same time zone, we leave the hour off…it’s either at the top of the hour, the :15, the :30, or – well, you understand) and I wrote like mad. Every time I wanted to stop, I’d look at my word count, check the clock, and keep going.
I’ll admit that first hour I didn’t make 1k. But you know what? I had more words than I would have if I’d been going it alone. And now after getting the hang of it I can usually pull more than 1k in 1hr.
Since then I’ve hooked up with Cid Tyer, Suzan Isik, and Kat Jameson for #1k1hr and of course, I’m still bumping into Zoe Archer and Skylar Kade. Is it working? Well – last week I almost wrote 3000 words.
This week? Sunday in two separate #1k1hr sprints I wrote 2454. Monday I did two and a half #1k1hr sprints and wrote 3297. Yesterday, I made it to 3662 words in another two and a half #1k1hr sprints. So you tell me. Is #1k1hr working, or not?
If you’re not already on Twitter, join up and find me at @CCAshworth. I’m almost always up for a #1k1hr – join me, won’t you?
By the way. These words I’m writing? They’re much more interesting than the “…and then they went to the office, and then they went to kill the demon, and then they…” words I got down last week. Are they perfect? Of course not – this is still a first draft. But they’re getting me closer to “the end” – and that, in the long run, is the only thing that matters.
60K in a month? Bring it on. I am SO there.