Anne Greenwood Brown shared a fantastic idea with Writer Unboxed 2011/06/29. I read her Kicking Out a Fast First Draft. This method propelled my second manuscript forward by seven chapters in three days. Now how cool is that?
But here’s the thing, you can’t fly through your pages if you haven’t developed your flight feathers. That requires some serious thought.
Here are five steps to earn your flight feathers before you soar with Anne’s “trick” of writing fast.
1. Figure out who your main players are and do in depth character studies for each.
2. Figured out who the secondary supporting cast is and do character sketches on them.
3. Think about where and how your story begins and where and how it ends.
4. Then use Anne’s percentages for structure and apply these to your plot line. True confession, I’m not really good at figuring everything out before hand. One of the trouble spots for writers is that sagging middle. But if you use what you’ve learned from your manuscript’s beginning and what you’ve decided about the end, along with your character studies, you’ll know what “your gang” will do in any given circumstances. Put that knowledge with Anne’s percentages and you’ll have a strong middle that creates questions and tension where you need.
5. Keep your brain on high alert to spot useful ideas and at the same time keep your brain churning with “what ifs”.
Anne Greenwood Brown’s idea for getting your manuscript down on paper before you do revisions or add the details that give depth and color is a gift to many of us who’ve taken years out of our lives to create a polished piece for publishing. I suspect I’ll have my next manuscript completed and ready for the editors in just a matter of months, not years.