Wednesday, April 13, 2011

#WW - Going with the Flow

I nearly forgot this week's #WriterWednesday post - because after the million kajillion things I had to do last week, this week is quieter. Still busy, but not quite as manic and the good thing is I'm writing words. Lots of words.

When the going is tough, when I'm under the gun, etc. I do prescribe to a "word count goal" because it keeps me from feeling behind. Chunk writing works - anywhere from 750 - 1000 words and then a break. A minimum of 2 chunks a day is good forward motion. 3 is fantastic. And I can over write sometimes. If I write more than 3000 words in a day, I've usually skimmed over something.

In January, when I was pressed, my aim was between 2000 and 2500 a day, every day, during the week. I do still like to take the weekends off to refresh my brain and to think. Thinking time is important.

But there are times when I throw word count goals out the window, and that's when the flow is going. I ride the wave. I don't force myself to stop. The 3000 word over write? Sometimes results in a mess, but most of the time just results in me having to go back and layer and clarify. Most of the time those words don't get deleted, they get padded out with what I might have missed - reactions and motivations mostly.

I think it's important to go with the flow, at least for me. If things are moving and the words are coming, it usually means I'm on the right track (even if I've skipped a few stops). When the words are coming slowly, it often means something isn't quite right, and I have to really think about the why behind things. Sometimes a question from my CP will open up an angle I was missing. And it's not uncommon for me to slog up a bit around Chapters 4 and 5, and again around chapter 8 and 9 as I move towards the black moment.

Right now things are flowing, and I'm going with it. It gives me something to fix, it shows me things about my characters, hopefully it's moving the story forward. Hopefully it's complicating the conflict and developing the romance. And hopefully the things I'm learning and discovering about my characters will be things I can layer and use to make the rest of the book richer when I edit.

My philosophy is go with the flow. It's what discovery drafts are for and anything is fixable.


  1. I'm with you on going with the flow - and surprised that I like to write in a similar way to you: chunks of 1000ish words, two or three times a day, with the all-important thinking time in between.

    I felt the flow at 6.30am this morning! I love it when that happens, because I got more than a 1000k done before breakfast.

  2. I'm all for going with the flow! Once I have the words pouring, I agree, it's best to let them out-you can always go back to tidy up or expand...sounds like we all write when the muse gets us. :) I never target a number, but that could be laziness-I don't write my best when I force it, and my lack of discipline is probably why stuff never gets finished! Lately my stories have seemed fully formed though, and I find it much easier to write with an end in mind, lord knows why it took me so long to figure that out!! Happy word flowing to you x

  3. Hi Donna:

    Going with the flow is great if what you are after is movement but it is also the best way to be washed out to sea. : )


  4. LOL Vince - but there's also something to be said for striking while the iron's hot and making hay while the sun shines. :-)