Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Write the bad sentence, then improve it

I don't think I'm alone in this, but I had a revelation on how to increase my word count per hour.

Now folks will say, "Jay! You shouldn't focus on word count. Quality over quantity. Let the story flow. More platitudes."

I get that, but there's room for improvement. So here's the revelation I wanted to share:

While writing, there are moments where you hesitate in writing the next sentence. You anticipate that it will suck balls and that it's stupid garbage. Because of this, you slow down. Sometimes, you start to write what you think is the proper sentence, but second-guess yourself so you hit backspace. Back and forth, back and forth--you're pulling your hair because you need to pass through this goddamn sentence!


Instead of hesitating or even deleting the errant sentence, write it out and let it stay there. Once you've brought that sentence to light, write another that improves on it. For me, I separate the bad sentence from the improved one with a slash (/). Once you have the two sentences to compare, delete the bad one and move on. You can do three possible sentences, but no more than that--you don't want to get stuck writing and rewriting that damn sentence. Pick one and move on.

That's it. I anticipate that this works when you're writing the first draft or rewriting your manuscript. I believe this is efficient rather than moving your mouse or cursor and editing it within.

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