His Convenient Wife was done last weekend, but I was exhausted so I didn’t make the post. I’ve been on a writing vacation since last Sunday and plan to stay on it for another week or two.
I sprinted Patty’s Gamble, The Earl’s Secret Bargain, and Just Good Friends. I didn’t really sprint A Royal Engagement because it was a rewrite of a previously published book. I could not, however, sprint His Convenient Wife, no matter how hard I tried.
What I’ve learned is the sprinting method is great for writing books faster, but it also wore me out. I was unable to manage more than 2000 words a day by the time I got to His Convenient Wife, and this was starting at 10am and going to midnight. I needed a lot more breaks during the day. I had to keep going back and rewriting multiple scenes. I had to swap scenes around from one place to another and then modify those scenes so they made sense in their new location.
I don’t know if other authors who do sprinting need breaks between books. Maybe if they outline when they aren’t sprinting, they can keep going. But no amount of outlining works for me. I’m not a plotter. I’m a panster. I am beginning to believe that teaching someone like me to plot is impossible because no matter how many ways I tried to do it, it just didn’t work. I was making a new outline every day because nothing went the way I thought it would while I was writing the day before.
So my takeaway advice (for what it’s worth) is to write the way that’s comfortable for you. And that includes the sprinting method. Sprinting isn’t for everyone. I was able to do it, and for two months, it worked great. I did an average of 5,000 words a day, which meant, I was able to finish a full-length novel in three weeks or less. If I hadn’t done it, Patty’s Gamble and The Earl’s Secret Bargain wouldn’t have been out this summer. And I’m happy with the way they turned out. Then I had the time to get to A Royal Engagement. Again, something that wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for finishing the other two books.
It took a lot out of me to do it. By the time I got to Just Good Friends, I noticed my word count was getting to be more about the 3,000 to 4,000 range, and I took a vacation in the middle of the book, which helped me recharge my creative energy.
When I got to His Convenient Wife, I was pretty much running on fumes, but the book is already set for release on November 16, and I need to get it ready for my editing team in early September. October 1 is when I plan to have it uploaded to Smashwords so there will be enough time to get the book ready on Barnes & Noble and Kobo. Apple is quick. But the other two places take longer, so that is why I pushed myself to finish it.
His Convenient Wife turned out to be 77,000 words in the first draft. A couple thousand words will get trimmed off during the first round of edits, which I’m currently doing. Don’t get me wrong. I’m really happy with this book. It’s one of my favorites. I went two weeks over my estimated time to finish it because I wanted to make sure I got it done right.
But what I took away from this whole experience is that sprinting (for me) isn’t something I can do all the time. So when I go back to writing, I’m going to work on a couple books at a time and slow things down.
Next on the list is Love Lessons With The Duke, my part of the novella for A Groom’s Promise, and another book (haven’t decided yet). I can see sprinting again, but it’s going to be a while before I do it again.
I think the part of sprinting that works best for me is the working for small increments of time, then doing other stuff. The rushing to get words out without backspacing, etc. isn’t something I can do a lot of. But I can allow myself to work in smaller increments, then do other stuff. That part isn’t as tiring for me.
I agree. The small increments is the biggest benefit to it. It allows me to get other things done around the house. The tip about closing your eyes and putting yourself back in the scene if you get stuck has helped, too.
I can’t afford to skip the backspace step anymore. I have a hard time picking out words that are one thing but should be another, like tilted vs. titled. Those things are almost impossible to see while editing, so I need to fix it as I write.
Dear Ruth, as I’ve mentioned before, plot outlines and sprinting are not my thing. Beginning, middle and end (a few sentences each, and then I just write the first draft of the complete book, I let the characters lead, and just make sure they don’t veer off the main road. I don’t spend much time on spelling and grammar until the story is complete, and I begin redrafting, editing, polishing, correcting. Speaking of polishing, I re-downloaded The Girl in Blue Velvet Who Fell From The Stars with revisions and grammatical corrections. Thank you for getting the e-book. I’ll send you a free book coupon code, or a copy of the revised book itself to download again.
I proofed my finished work over and over, listened to it on TextAloud and Kindle, and on my tenth reading, I discovered more that needed correcting. It’s like during the first ten readings, the errors purposely hid from me. Ugh… A “Proofreading” post would be great, when you have the time. Take as much R&R as you need. And have a pleasant Labor Day Weekend. 🙂
Since I bought the book, I should be able to get the new version. That is one thing I like a lot about Smashwords. It’s easy to get a new version. It’s not so easy to do that on Amazon, and I haven’t tried it on Barnes & Noble.
I’ll see what I can come up with for proofreading. I would be lost with my editing team, though. As much as I catch, something always seems to slip through.
Hope you have a great Labor Day weekend! 🙂
And yes, I’m having lots of fun relaxing and catching up on my reading. I’m probably going to take two more weeks off from writing. Then when I return to it, I’ll be fully recharged.
Also, I’m glad I’m not the only writer who is more comfortable just writing instead of outlining extensively. 🙂