Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dean Wesley Smith Writes A Novel In 10 Days

How Dean Wesley Smith Writes A Novel In 10 Days

Writing A Novel In 10 Days


That's right. Dean Wesley Smith is writing a novel in 10 days!

If you're boggled by that--and I was the first time I read it--Dean discusses what he calls "fast writing" here: Writing Fast.

In Writing Fast, Dean says he believes that "the quality of the final product has no relationship to the speed, method, or feeling of the writer while writing." Therefore whether he took a year to finish the book or only 10 days, the quality would be the same.

But not only is he going to write the novel in 10 days he is also going to only do one draft. He writes:
I hope to write the book (70,000 words) in 7 to 10 days and then turn it in to the publisher. One draft. (The Ghost Novel Writing Is On For Next Week)
To find out about Dean's views on Rewriting see Rewriting Part Two.


How One Professional Writer Prepares To Write A Novel


In his first log I noticed Dean talked a bit about how he gets organized to write a novel and that's something I've always wanted to hear more about from established writers.

Dean's writing computer is different from his internet computer


Dean has different computers for writing and internet related activities. His writing computer (he has discussed this in other posts) isnt' conneted to the internet so answering email, surfing the web, and so on, won't be a temptation.

I think this is a brilliant idea.

Chapter templates


Dean writes,
1:45 PM… Moved to my writing computer, set up files, set up a chapter template since I keep a different file for every chapter and combine them at the end, then typed in a title, typed in the main character’s name and started writing. 
That's interesting, using a different file for each chapter. I do something similar, but with the help of Scrivener. I've found that having each scene on its own makes structuring and organizing a novel easier.

For instance, sometimes I will write a scene two different ways in an attempt to discover which feels truer to the story and being able to label them "Act 2 Scene 3 Version 1" and "Act 2 Scene 3 Version 2" helps enormously.

Background Information


Dean writes:
5:05 PM… Moved over to my writing computer from my internet computer and decided that before I went too far I needed to start a glossary of terms, character dress, place names and such, so I set that up and put in it the little bits I had done in the first 500 words.
- glossary of terms
- character dress (perhaps character names as well plus tags and traits)
- place names

That's straightforward. 

No Outline


Perhaps I'm burying the lead, but I found it interesting that Dean didn't create an outline previous to sitting down to write.

At least, that's what it seems. He writes:
1:45 PM… Moved to my writing computer, set up files, set up a chapter template since I keep a different file for every chapter and combine them at the end, then typed in a title, typed in the main character’s name and started writing.  I have no idea where this book is going, but to start I paid attention to making up some setting through the character’s eyes and opinions. [Emphasis mine]
And
At this point at 4:26 in the morning, I’m at 7,625 words for the day. I could go a little farther but this is a ton better than I had hoped for the first day so I’m going to stop and go downstairs with my cat and veg out on some stupid television.

I still have no idea at all where this book is going. Just making it up as I go. But at the same time I’m feeling no worry at the moment either. I have a hunch that will come. (grin) [Emphasis mine]
I guess I'm a plotter rather than a pantser because I'm getting a nervous tick just thinking about sitting down to write a novel in 10 days without an outline!

I'm eagerly looking forward to following Dean's progress. It's not often--in fact, hardly ever--that one gets to look over an authors shoulder as they write. This will be interesting. I just wish I could read the book at the end!

Other articles you might like:

- How To See Through Your Character's Eyes
- 50 Shades Of Grey: The Most Profitable Books Of All Time?
- When Is A Story Ready To Publish?

Photo credit: "Its Always a Journey" by Zach Dischner under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Because of the number of bots leaving spam I had to prevent anonymous posting. My apologies to anyone this inconveniences, I wish I didn't have to do it. I do appreciate each and every comment.