First off, my word count since last we were together: Friday--995 words, Saturday--65 words, Monday--1,640 words, and today 1,009 words. I did get some additional work done today on next month's presentation, which has been hanging over my head.
Note Saturday's pathetic word count. In my defense, I'd like to say that I don't usually work at all on weekends. In my defense, I'd also like to say that on Saturday I also did some scene planning.
In last week's post I agreed with Rachel Aaron that knowing what you're going to write is essential to increasing word count. Or in my case, it seems, maintaining any kind of word count worth mentioning. One way she says you will know what you're going to write is by planning scenes.
As with most aspects of planning/plotting a story, coming up with scenes is easier said than done. The easier part, though, comes along if you keep in mind that scenes keep you from just randomly writing, stumbling around through text. Scenes are specific moments, steps in a story. They are made up of action that takes place in one place at one time, and they reveal new information. You're doing something specific with them. I've found thinking in terms of scenes and planning them hugely helpful this past month.
I include a little something I got from The Plot Whisperer while planning my scenes. I want them to relate to character, plot, or theme. More than one of those items? Terrific. But at least one.
And chapters? Again, they shouldn't be random. You shouldn't be starting a new chapter because it feels right. (Yeah, I've done that.) Aaron quotes Holly Lisle on the subject. In a chapter, something changes. I'm embarrassed that I didn't know that.
Seriously. Knowing stuff, at least about scenes and chapters, means you can write faster. Writing faster is like finding time.