Here lately, I’ve been reading a lot about publishing. Part of that is because I just published my first book through CreateSpace, a non-fiction abstract of historical records. That was really my second book. I published the first, another non-fiction abstract of historical records, with a grant from the R. J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation.
Anyway, I’m interested in self-publishing, possibly also as e-books, and was looking for information on that when I stumbled upon Rachel Aaron‘s marvelous booklet 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love.
I’m not normally one to go on and on about a non-fiction book, particularly a non-fiction book on writing. But Aaron’s book blew me away. It’s packed full of the most useful information I’ve ever found on the writing process in any of the dozens of books I’ve read on the subject…and it’s only 64 pages in length (or the equivalent of, since it’s only available as an e-book).
Aaron can get away with the shorter length because she’s sharply succinct. Her writing is both no-nonsense and entertaining. I loved her writing style so much that I decided to try her fiction.
Now that I have the gushing out of the way, let me describe a few of the things Aaron packs into this little package. She begins by outlining her triangle paradigm, the three things every writer must have before he or she can write (knowledge, time, and enthusiasm) and how getting those three things right can help every writer be as productive as possible. You can read most of that through the sample preview.
Aaron then goes on to outline a five-step plotting system that works very well for her, and very quickly, too. She gives a real-life example of how she tested her system by writing a book-length first draft in 62 hours over about three weeks.
Aaron is the first to say that her plotting system won’t work for everyone, nor will her triangle paradigm bring everyone to ten thousand words a day, as it does for her. To be fair, her 10K day is six or seven hours long. Most people don’t have that much time to write because most people can’t or don’t write full time. But most people, even non-fiction writers like me, can use her triangle (knowledge, time, enthusiasm) to become more efficient, more productive writers. And that’s a heck of a lot to get out of a 99¢ booklet.