Part of being a writer is identifying your writing process. This isn’t something you do with the first book, the second one, or hell, even book seventeen. It’s a process you are always honing and fine-tuning as you work on each new book. I’ve found myself struggling this year as parts of my process weren’t working. I’d dialed in on the plotting piece, but the actual writing was lacking.
Then, the second week of November I attended the Readers and Ritas, in Dallas, TX, and I went in expecting a typical reader’s event. Then came the announcement, think bright, flashing lights: “Candace Havens – Special Author Track- Fast Draft and Revision Hell.”
I’d heard of this writing process before. In fact, several members of my critique group live and love the Candace Havens method of writing and editing books. My thoughts have always been skeptical. Could you really write a book in 2 weeks? Edit in 2 weeks? Have a completed book in a month? No ‘fucking’ way. Yes, I used the profanity. I was born for life at sea.
Anyhoo, I went into the class ready to take notes. Half a day later, I’m ready to give things a try. Why not? I was stalled on my latest work, and desperate to finish it. At this point, I was a week down in November and my goal for NaNo involved finishing the current story and writing another. I had 2 1/2 weeks left. When I got home on Sunday I talked to my husband, explained the rules to him. One of those rules basically says to tell your family to get lost, at least get lost during writing time. He accepted this request and on Monday I started.
Let me tell you, I won. I won NaNo big, with days to spare. I was writing 5k a day and putting those words down like a boss. I’ve never had word counts, that big, for repetitive days, but this time I did. One of Candy’s other rules is to ‘believe in the magic’. I believed, something fierce, and it paid dividends.
That being said, I highly recommend if you can get on board for a Candace Havens Book In A Month class do it. It’s worth the end result, which is finished books. There’s also other opportunities for free workshops, etc. Click the link above and check it out.
Fast drafting is becoming a part of my process. I made it ‘work for me’ (another rule), and I don’t see future books without fast draft involved.
P.S. I haven’t started revision hell yet, and I can almost guarantee you’ll see another post about it once I complete the revisions on the books I wrote in November.