Monday, December 12, 2011

Guest Post: "How I Write 10,000 Words a Day" by Michelle Franklin

Today I am excited to share with you a guest post from one of my most favourite indie authors, Michelle Franklin, author of the Haanta series!

How I Write 10,000 Words a Day

Many people ask how I write.

I write two chapters a day and usually a short story to post on the official Haanta Series website. This amounts to about ten-thousand words a day. I am aware that may seem like an unconquerable lot, but if one considers how much one writes in emails, through messengers, and over social sites in a given day, ten-thousand is not much. I'll share with you how I do what I do with the hopes that my technique can help you too.

My process is very simple:
1) Write what you love most
2) Write without the notion of being published
3) Write what you want to write at that moment
4) Begin with small and allow small to turn into big.

It is really that simple, but I will discuss each point to show you what I mean.

1) Write what you love most.

When I was in a university writing course, I was encouraged to write different genres and styles. This is excellent for those who wish to write but are uncertain as to what. I, however, knew that I wanted to write high fantasy. This was not an accepted genre amongst a group of existential fiction writers. I became frustrated, stagnant, agitated with writing, and I considered giving it up until I left the class and began writing on my own. Fantasy has always been a natural proclivity for me and therefore I write nothing else. Write the genre and in the style that suits you; do not change to please others.

2) Write without the notion of being published.

Before I began writing the Haanta Series, I wrote an epic fantasy series called the Arustan series. Do not search for it; you shall not find it. I had written a few books in the series but none of them were ever finished due to my querying agents and publishers.I was told that high fantasy was out and no one beyond two or three major imprints would consider my work. I became discouraged, gave up finishing some of the books, and the rejections the frst ones received stopped me from writing altogether. It is true that the publishing industry moves in trends, as does any creative business, but I resolved not to await the time of high fantasy to shine anew to begin writing again. I began writing the Haanta series and did not query agents and publishers until I had four books completed. While I was waiting for answers, I wrote books six through ten. I did receive rejections, but because I had written so much, it hardly mattered, and when I received a few acceptances, I had plenty of material prepared.

3) Write what you want to write at that moment.

This has kept me from writer’s block for years. Many never want to deviate from their current work because they might feel that if they leave if, they will never return to it. I say, not so. I constantly write books and stories out of order because something in them might give rise to something I can use in a previous work, etc. Often, while I’m doing rewrites, I will stop and write a short story, and sometimes that short story becomes a book itself. I never prohibit myself or inhibit my characters, which keeps a constant flow of writing all day long.If your original work is important, you will return to it and possibly with more to ad to it.

4) Begin with small and let small turn into big.

Many writers feel overwhelmed with overall story and might lock themselves into an outline they would otherwise change or simply not complete. My suggestion here is to start with just one chapter or short story, whether in the middle of a book or at the beginning, or even an epilogue. Many a time, I have written the epilogue to one book only to discover what the beginning of the next one should be. Before I even began writing the first book in the Haanta Series, I had written over seven-hundred short stories. These helped me understand and develop characters as well as introduce them to readers. Often, a three-chapter short story has become a grand story arc while entire novels I may have planned become only half a book.

One other point I should like to share is this: write everywhere. I always have writing implements with me, whether digital or traditional, and I write anything that comes to mind when it comes. I have written in hospital waiting rooms, at parties, in parks- the venue matters little. What matters is that the idea is written.

And, of course, I encourage people to challenge themselves. For example: if someone is used to writing only 500 words a day, I urge that person to try for 1000. Usually the person will get to 800, which is excellent because it’s more than that person had been used to write, but many writers believe that if they don’t reach their goals, they have failed. This is untrue; writing more than usual is the real goal.


  1. Such wonderful advice! Writing what appeals to you and what you love I think would most certainly make the words flow faster (though I'm sure not always) than writing a genre you don't find as interesting. Thanks for this post!

  2. Great advice!

    For me having a daily word target helps which is why I loved my NanoWriMo ticker so much! Miss it! ;)

  3. Such great advice. I can see this adapted for other creatives as well!


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