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How To Write A Whole Book In 8 Hours

Updated on May 27, 2010

As a sometimes over-motivated writer, I had always had a sneaking suspicion that there was a way to write an entire book in the space of just one day. And then one day, I did it. In eight hours (That’s including time taken for lunch and coffee breaks.)

This page is a step-by-step guide that will teach you how to do it to.

#1. Believe that you can do it: This factor is so important that it just has to come first. You can’t do anything that you believe you cannot do. You have to set aside your doubts and be motivated enough to try. You have to believe in yourself and your ability to succeed. You can do this. Heck, I’m just some random dude writing an article online and I did it. Why wouldn’t you be able to?

#2. Set things up beforehand: To work this quickly and still produce material of a quality that is actually saleable, you need to make sure that you can write uninterrupted for as long as possible. When I take all day writing a book, I’ll write for 4-6 hours at a stretch and even dabble a little while I eat. If you write with music playing, set up a playlist or find a station that doesn’t play commercials which you can listen to for 8+ hours.

#3. Just go: I’ve found that 90% of the time it takes me to write something is spent considering my words and deciding whether or not I should put a certain line a certain way. If you remove that and just allow yourself to put down on paper whatever comes (and save the revising and second guessing for the end) you’ll cut your writing time down to about 5-10% of what it ordinarily would be.

#4. Write exactly what you think: If you try to filter or spend time looking up details such as what color the houses are on High Street in some town you’ve never been to before or waste minutes mucking around trying to string together technobabble, you’ll kill your speed. If you can sense a situation coming up that will stall you, avoid it altogether. Write what comes easiest and relax while you’re doing it. Your wit and brilliance will still come if you clear your mind and just allow them to.

#5. Shoot low, aim high: Think about it this way: even if you can only type 20-25 words a minute, if you write non-stop for eight hours, you’ll plow through almost 10,000 words during that period. Granted, your average full-length novel is 80,000 to 100,000 words, so it might take you a week at this pace to put together that serious of a chunk of text, but even that is fast. That’s why I say: shoot low. There’s plenty of room on the market for books around about the 10k mark in kids book niches, young adult novels, romance novels or books that fall within any genre which people seek out because they’re looking for a quick read.

But if you’re going for the full-length book, that’s totally doable as well. If you’ve had experience working as a professional typist and you can put down 50 or 100 words in a minute without stopping, you’re ahead of the game. I’ve seen it done. If you can plow through without stopping and think at the speed your fingers move, you can create a serious novel in just a day or two.

#6. Wait until its done to fix it: Doctoring errors can slow your pace and make you lose your train of thought when you’re in the groove. Keep going if you make a mistake or leave a sentence too long or slightly awkward or something and only return to it once you’ve finished your book. This way you’ll save time for the actual writing process and you’ll have the fresh perspective of reading the material over again after thinking about something else instead of just spinning around in circles in the moment trying to figure out what you want to say.

And that’s it! Now get out there and start writing!

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    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I've always been impressed by the fact that Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay for "Rocky" in only three days. While I don't think I'll manage to write a book in one day (or even three) at my age, your suggestions are valid. I'm one of the writers who finds it difficult to turn off my internal editor during a first draft. (Note to self: Try harder to stifle internal editor.)

      Voted Up++

      Jaye

    • William157 profile image

      William157 

      6 years ago from Southern California

      I think it's time I try this challenge! Fantastic tips, by the way.

    • lobonorth profile image

      lobonorth 

      7 years ago

      I have had similar thoughts myself, but, unlike you, have yet to put them into practice! Useful article and it gets my vote, too.

    • GALAXY 59 profile image

      Galaxy Harvey 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Well,I read this and went for it! I sat down at 6am,finished at 2am the following morning. With breaks to cook meals, go to the bathroom, clean up a small pile of cat sick and drink way too many cups of coffee I have produced a novel. 82,ooo odd words. It took a very strange turn and the characters really took on a life of their own but you know what I'm actually quite happy with it. I now have no idea what to do with it, any suggestions- anyone?

    • profile image

      Moon Dancer 

      8 years ago

      Great advice and well written. This is something I will keep in mind, when I write my cookbook. :)

    • equealla profile image

      equealla 

      8 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Wow you are fast!

    • ahostagesituation profile image

      SJ 

      8 years ago

      I'm with the wait until it's done to fix it advice, fixing as you go is a terrible time eater. Thanks!

    • freelancewriterva profile image

      freelancewriterva 

      8 years ago

      Your comments to "wait until its done to fix it" is a great comment. I will try to use in my next project.

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 

      8 years ago from South Wales

      Excellent advice. I fell into all the traps, correcting, making paragraphs, spelling and all that. It took me a year to write a 250 page book. See,I'm still doing it. now ill try it your way

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