Book Review: Write Better, Faster: How To Triple Your Writing Speed and Write More Every Day
Always looking for tips and strategies for improving my writing speed and quality, I downloaded Write Better, Faster: How To Triple Your Writing Speed and Write More Every Day (Growth Hacking For Storytellers 1)* to my Kindle. Write Better, Faster was written by Monica Leonelle. This is not the first book written by Leonelle that I reported on. She also wrote Dictate Your Book: How to Write Your Book Faster, Better, and Smarter. Both books have been extremely helpful to my writing process. This book looked at her writing system as a whole. I will be taking a number of great tips with me.
Write Better, Faster is 321 pages and is available as either a Kindle or audio book. It is organized in eight chapters and has a robust collection of resources. Additionally, Leonelle included her writing diary which was approximately half the book. To be honest, I did not read the writing diary. I, personally, did not find it useful. In the book, she stressed the important of having a writing journal to help the process and I agree that it could be useful; however, I do not get the same benefit from reading another person’s journal.
The chapters included in the book include:
- The first step to writing faster
- Set up your tracking system
- Writing 3500-4000+ words per hour
- Step#1 – Knowledge
- Step #2 – Flow
- Step #3 – Training
- Step #4 – Energy
In her introduction, Leonelle discussed her reason and need for writing faster. She also detailed the evolution that led her to write over 4,000 words per hour. Her experience resulted in a long form blog post outlining her process. This blog post was a centerpiece of the book. Her goal for readers of the book was threefold: Increase writing speed, increase writing stamina, and improve the book production process. I felt she achieve these goals.
Writing faster results in faster production speed, which could result in more books on the market, which could result in more money being earned each year. Leonelle also shared that writing faster also results in better quality. It separates the writing process from the editing process yielding a more naturally flowing book.
One of the key pieces to Leonelle’s writing system is a tracking system. As the Peter Drucker quote goes, “What gets measured gets improved.” By tracking your writing progress, you can determine if you are improving your speed. If not, she recommends a writing journal to help determine why not.
Leonelle shares her tracking system. It is based on Pomodoros. I think this is a great way to measure progress as well as get the breaks you need. It is something I plan to incorporate in my writing process. I found this chapter to be extremely beneficial.
The third chapter is based in large part on her article “How To Consistently Write 3500-4000 Words Per Hour.” Leonelle is primarily a fiction writer and a majority of what she shared was from that vantage point. However, I can see how it can be leveraged to support non-fiction writing. In order to write 3500-4000 words per hour, you must do a lot of pre-production work. In pre-production, you need to create an outline and expand it with beats. From this point, you use dictation to flesh out the beats into a working draft. The key to speed is being able to use dictation software. Leonelle uses Dragon Naturally Speaking and I use Google Voice Typing.
Chapters 4-7 focused on her writing framework. In each chapter, she went into depth on how to maximize each element. The four elements of her framework included Knowledge, Flow, Training, and Energy.
In the knowledge chapter, she outlined her writing process. I found this interesting because if centered around writing fiction, something I am intrigued about but not knowledgeable. I learned about plot arcs, character arcs, and world arcs. I also have a better idea for developing an outline and beats. As examples, she used outlines, beats, and sketches of her own books. She did a great job showing how to move from outline to draft; beats are a key element.
Flow is when you are working at peak performance. Leonelle spent most of the chapter on flow discussing how to eliminate distractions and building systems to enter a state of flow. She highlighted the use of the Pomodoro method to help keep on task.
Leonelle noted that you cannot simply jump into writing 4000 per hour, you actually have to train yourself to work at this level. She provided a number of tips for getting started and increasing speed and endurance.
In this chapter, Leonelle stressed to replenish expended creative energy. This can be done in many ways, but it is essential that you do not focus only on writing.
In the questions chapter of the book, she was kind enough to share her use of Twello to track multiple writing project stages. I thought it was quite interesting.
In the resources section, she included links to articles on her original articles, storytelling, writing business, building habits, productivity, tracking, and other articles. I thought it was a very useful collection.
If you are interested in writing or improving your writing process, I think you will want to read Write Better, Faster. There are definitely strategies I will want to try out as I move forward with my book and future books. I am still trying to figure out the fiction writing piece. One day.
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