This past October, my Wisconsin Romance Writers’ group hosted a workshop with Candace Havens as our speaker. One of her topics was Fast Track Writing. With Fast Track you write twenty pages a day for fourteen days. The rules are that you can’t miss a day, you can’t go back to add or revise previous writings, and you need to be prepared beforehand.
Seven writers from the Wisconsin Romance Writers decided to tackle Fast Track in conjunction with National Novel Writers’ Month. I have never done NaNoWriMo as I’m always in the middle of a project when it starts. This year I had just sent in “The Trail to Love” for “The Soul Mate Tree,” so I was free to tackle it.
Like the other writers who tried Fast Track, I learned quite a bit about myself as a writer.
1. I’d always thought I did a good job of not going back and re-writing each day. While I don’t re-write, what I realized I did was go back and change/add/delete things when I had an idea as I wrote. I did get in the habit of making notes in parentheses as I wrote, but it was difficult. I’m also used to researching things as I write. Nope. Couldn’t do that. Since I was working on an historical this was extremely hard. A few times I actually slapped myself on my hands to stop from researching to see if certain words were used in my book’s time period, or what they called items of clothing. Again I had to put questions in parenthesis and keep writing.
2. I found I didn’t like writing to a daily goal. I usually write about 5,000 words a day. There are days that I write 6,000 to 7,000 words. I never paid attention to word count until I was done for the day. But with Fast Track, I found I was constantly checking my page count, and when I hit my 20 pages – I quit! How dumb was that? Twenty pages for me is about 4,500 words. I was crazy to quit, but once I hit that goal – boom – done.
3. I feel that with Fast Track, I wrote a lot of garbage – and I mean a lot. My plot flow was terrible. I know I’m going to have to delete way more than I usually do when I simply write without a goal. It’s like my brain is more focused on what I’m writing than reaching that goal.
I’m not sure I’d do Fast Track again. It was way too stressful. I missed three days, but caught up for two of them, which meant I wrote forty pages in one day. But in a way I’m glad I did as I learned a lot about my writing. I did continue with NaNoWriMo and ended up with nearly 57,000 words.
And before I forget. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. May 2017 be filled with good things for you all.
Tina has been Soul Mate Publishing since 2012. Her newest book, “Never With a Rich Man,” was released on November 2nd.