Amelia Robinson

Hey there! I'm a student at the University of Kentucky and an aspiring writer. This blog serves as an outlet for all the things I want to talk about that are writing-related. I'll post some of my writing, too, for your enjoyment and critique. Thank you for stopping by! If you'd like to know more about me, feel free to visit here!

Experimental Writing Routine

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

There was this idea that came to me, and it was an idea that's made up of many different ideas, and when you pick apart these ideas into separate ones, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  It was one of those kinds of ideas.

The idea, in its finality, is this: If I ever have to write under a deadline, a good writing system might be to plot out a section of my story during the week (Monday thru Friday) and then write on the weekend.

I will actually go ahead and explain the pieces here.

Firstly, writing under deadline, I've heard, is ridiculously stressful and sometimes very difficult.  So difficult that many authors have reported their tardiness on multiple occasions and lauded the awesomeness of their agents and editors and their forgiveness.  I'm terrified of writing under a deadline, but also I'll admit, a bit excited, too, because due to the fact I am scared of being "in trouble," deadlines are a sure fire way of getting me to get stuff done, even if it is at the very last possible moment.  Having a writing system that works for me would be critical were I ever to have to write under a deadline.

Then I started to think about how much I could physically type.  My typing speed is at over 100 WPM (words per minute).  So I did some math.  (Math on school break, aren't you proud of me?)

If I wrote at a consistent 100 words per minute for an hour, that's 6,000 words per hour.  Say I did what Stephen King (and my dad) advises and write for at least four hours in a day.  In a single day, that's 24,000 words.  If I were to dedicate a weekend to my story and write 100 words per minute for four hours a day for two days, I could have a 48,000 word chunk of my story.  That's roughly half to a third or fourth of a YA novel.  (It's probably about a third of my current project.)

This was a great idea when it came sparkling into my thoughts, but then reality took a pailful of water and dumped it over all the glitter, leaving a runny mess.

I am not a consistent writer and I have finally come to terms with the fact that I am not much of a pantster, especially on a novel-long scale.  I write better and faster when I have an outline to tell me where I need to end up.  As long as I have the beats of a scene, I'm cool with spontaneity.  I like my characters to surprise me with their dialogue and weird habits, etc., but only if I end up at the correct end goal.

I figured that I most likely would not consistently write 100 words per minute even with an outline, but mentally, I would regard it as my maximum.  I am limited by how fast I can physically type.  This is somehow comforting to me.

I'm not quite sure what to use as my goal, because I know I won't be able to clock in 100 WPM consistently for four hours.  What I'm going to do this weekend is write as much as what I'm comfortable with, and then use that as my baseline for future weekends.

What do y'all think?  What different writing routines have you tried?