Updated: Nov 21, 2020
You're preparing yourself for your future career, maybe take part in a contest to launch it. Or perhaps you want to publish your first book or start gathering elements for your next novel.
The only problem is that you don't have enough time.
The contest has a deadline in a few months or weeks. Your publisher wants you to speed up as he wants to go to press, or possibly you want to respect a tight schedule to be as efficient as possible. No matter what: you're running out of time.
In this article, we will present you with two of the best method to write quickly your next success and meet deadlines. Whether these come from external reasons or from yourself.
The Stephen King method
Stephen King in his famous book "On Writing" tries to solve this problem and does so by providing some targeted advice to understand how to structure a novel.
If you haven't yet experienced the beauty of writing a novel before, but want at any costs to understand how to write your successful book, then you have to start your journey as a writer by reading this essay.
Surely, King's suggestions and tips will be extremely useful for those who must meet deadlines, have little free time to invest in their writing or possibly feel the anxiety of committing to that career and want to rip off the band-aid quickly to understand if they're cut out for it.
In a nutshell: if you haven't got plenty of free time, this method can sort your time problems
To write a book and publish it, the first thing to do is get used to writing every day, even for a small amount of time, and reading as many books as you can afford.
It is not an imposition, but an encouragement to write regularly, and to read. Different novels each time, if you can.
This will help you in the creative phase when you need to work on your own project effectively and efficiently.
If you are short on ideas on what to read next, aBloodyWriter will help. Go check our suggestions.
Reading helps to refine and sometimes to define the style you want.
Learn to read a novel betwixt the lines, try to understand what techniques the author has used to get a coherent and exciting story; or try to figure out where the author failed you in delivery a scene: this will help hugely when it comes to writing your own, as you will already know what works and whatnot.
This will help you find your individual writing method and understand how to structure a novel worth reading.
King suggests that your novel should be the project on which you must focus most, if not all of your attention. You should write the first draft in three months or so. Why so? Because the more time passes, the more your writing changes according to the passing of days and the progress of life experiences.
The more you change, the less the first and the last chapter will have continuity.
So write for three months and get creative, it's just the first draft: don't get in a paranoic circle where everything must be perfect. You will polish it later on.
But always stick to your initial plan: finish that book.
Six bullet points to summarize King's bits of advice:
Read and write a lot, every day and as much as possible
Show commitment to your project
Do not think about money the whole process. Just create
The first draft must be ready in 3 months.
Don't wait for genius to come from thin air. Stick to the plan and set achievable goals.
Readers want characters that mirror them and recognise some aspects in themselves.
The Dan Brown method
If you have read The Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons, you surely have noticed that Dan Brown always writes his novels following the same model. It is a specific "narrative format", a scheme for writing a book that will possess similar if not identical characteristics throughout the entire portfolio.
Dan Brown isn't, of course not, the only writer to have created his own narrative format. This method, which we find above all in the authors of serial books, helps you understand in a blink of an eye how to structure a novel and speed up the writing phase.
Create your narrative format and try to structure all the action of your book within those lines. This will massively speed up the process as you already have chosen the paths you want to spend time on and the ones to gloss over.
Dan Brown's narrative format is very simple and can be summarized in six key points:
Create a serial protagonist
There's a conspiracy to thwart
The antagonists are related to a secret society guilty of the conspiracy
The whole story should be set in a few days
Set your story in an important City
Use a third-person omniscient narrator
If you have doubts about how to start writing a book, fear not, it is normal to have a thousand uncertainties at the beginning.
Just keep writing every day, read a lot, and try to push the boundaries of your imagination.
Do not wait for the muse to come by, the longer you keep waiting for her, the slower it will arrive.
Some authors write at night and others during the day.
Some early in the morning, some late in the afternoon.
Some write a lot in one big session, others very few pages a day with lots of breaks in between.
Everyone has their own writing method, and you have to create one too. Some find it during the writing phase itself, others during pauses for reflection, when they stop to think about how to structure a novel to give readers something new.
You will find yours with time and succeed in delivering your new book to your publisher or win that contest or, perhaps, finish the first book of your life.
Eventually, results will come.
Just keep writing stories. Keep creating lives.