Write Faster Using Scene Descriptions

I recently wrote two novels very quickly. Quickly for me, that is. I am generally a slow writer. I write and layer and change and ponder and tweak, and it takes me ages. Recently, I’ve wanted to learn to write faster so I can produce books more consistently. I also want to be more focused in my writing, so I can cut down on the pages and pages of detours I tend to take. Pages that I end up cutting, later on.


So I pulled out a book by Rachel Aaron, that I’d read a while ago, called 2,000 – 10,000, How to write faster, write better and write more of what you love. It’s a really great book and I can’t recommend it enough. And as I read it for a second time, I finally tried something I’d merely skimmed by on the first read. It really worked well for me, so I thought I’d share it here.

Now, there is no way I can explain this as well as Rachel does, so if this idea intrigues you, please go buy her book. But here’s the basic idea. Before you write a scene, you write out a short description of that scene. What do you see happening? What is the conflict? What is the outcome? 

You may think, as I did (since I tend to be a plotter) that you know what’s going to happen in that scene. That it’s already up there in your brain and you don’t need to write it down. But what Rachel teaches, and what I experienced multiple times when trying this technique, is that I really didn’t know quite as much about each scene as I thought I did. When I had to write it out, and explain it concisely, the holes showed up. The lack of conflict showed up. The faults showed up. Which is always a bummer, but the great thing was, I could fix it. I could think it through before I wrote the scene, so I didn’t waste as much time on detours and big chunks of text that I ended up deleting later on.

This is just one tiny tip in this book, but it made a big difference for me. Have you read Rachel Aaron’s 2,000-10,000? I’d love to hear you thoughts. And if you haven’t read it, and you’re interested in increasing your writing speed, I highly recommend it. If you get it on Kindle, it’s only $2.99.  That is an amazingly low price for advice that can make such a big difference in your writing! 

Wishing you many happy words! 

~ Claire

2 thoughts on “Write Faster Using Scene Descriptions

    1. Claire McEwen Post author

      Thanks, Denise! I’m so glad it’s helpful! There’s a lot more great stuff in the book, but this is what has stood out for me recently.

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