In general, I’m not a person who can just write a book in a month. It usually takes me upwards of 3 months to have a book ready for beta readers. However, last April, I experienced a magnificent unicorn-like moment: I wrote 76,000 words in 30 days.
How’d I do it? No idea. But here are some theories:
Theory #1: Hiding Your Feet
A deep-cut, 30 Rock quote here, but the idea is that Dennis hides his feet from the dog, and when he finally reveals them, the dog goes crazy. This is kind of what happened with the first Princess Vigilante book (which, btw, you can preorder now). Basically, I’d had this idea for the book for about two years, but due to other things in the queue, I couldn’t work on it.
Also, I was struggling on the final two Lexie books, probably because I wanted to work on this shiny new idea more. So while I forced myself to stay on schedule, my brain was dying to work on something new. And when it finally got the chance, it went for it.
Theory #2: It’s Just a Good Idea
It should go without saying: A book that you draft quickly and excitedly will probably come out much closer to completion than the one that you struggle through (looking at you, Princess Vigilante #2). Because I had such a clear vision of what I wanted to do with this book, and how I was going to do it, I was able to hunker down and focus. Not only that, but the storyline is really fun. Brynna’s reckless, snarky, and fiercely loyal: basically everything I love in a heroine.
I also knew pretty well what I was doing in terms of plot, which makes it easy to put it on paper. This is probably the biggest reason why I was able to complete the book so quickly.
Theory #3: Living Situation Was Right
In April of 2018, I moved out from my folks house and into a house by myself for a few months. When you live by yourself, you have nobody judging your life choices, including sitting in front of the computer and word-vomiting a book for hours on end. I also didn’t get interrupted by noises, the television, hearing my name, any of that. And so, the book arrived fully fleshed out.
Can I Do It Again?
When I finally sat down to write the Runaway Princess (that’s the prequel novelette), I had some of these very same pieces-parts. I had a fully-fleshed plot, I had a weekend to myself in my quiet house, and I was trying to avoid working on the second PV book. So I dumped 9,000 words in a single day, basically writing the damn thing in one go.
I do think it’s possible, but it’s not something that I think I want to do on the regular. For one, when I have a big writing day, I tend to sputter along for the following few days. It’s like wringing all the water out of a sponge – it has to reabsorb more water in order to be wet again. Unless I have a lot of water (words) in my mind, and then I can just keep motoring. And for another, I pretty much become a hermit during that time.
My goal for 2019 is balance. So I’m going to try to be more steady with my word counts while still making my deadlines. We’ll see how it goes…