This book is about addressing how to plan out an outline in order to write up to 10,000 words a day in spite of distractions either in the mind or in life. My main criticism has to do with the fact that the third chapter of the book deals mainly with outlining and writing a story, which diverges from the main point of the book, which is to talk about the writing habits that are utilized during writing. I was hoping to get more in-depth information about writing up to 10,000 per day. Of course, she acknowledges that it would appear that she is diverging, though she explained that the book needs to have a rationale in order to proceed into publishing, though I did get the feeling that this was targeted towards beginning writers. I did get the feeling that the title 2K to 10K was slightly misleading as a result.
She is a writer of science fiction, who has devised a system that would enable her to continue writing without delay. There is a lot of description about Aaron’s own struggles with maintaining focus.
The major themes in this book is the physical space and the time, but also the cognizance and their itemizations of them in order to consolidate the work into manageable bits. Instead of writing at home where Aaron is distracted, she writes in the coffee shop without internet. She also recorded the hours she wrote and the amount of words that she wrote in those times.
Aaron does note that a draft of thousands of words completed in such a short time does not guarantee perfection. She emphasized that she had to spend a lot of time editing her draft. Editing becomes a major theme in the final third of the book, which is definitely important to the point of the book to not only write a lot of words, but to make them coherent. She encapsulated this point by stating that editing and writing are codependent and are practically the same. Writing the first draft is about materialization, while editing involves rationalization.
Aaron also points out the mindset that goes into the writing process. In which case, she wants the reader to avoid self-criticism to the point it consumes hours of the day. Self-pity and anger at the self goes nowhere. As such, she emphasizes prioritizing how and why you are writing your novel. This includes planning out the setting, characters, and basic plot in a basic outlining format; while Aaron also mentions always maintaining a strong pathos behind the book-writing process, because there would be no point in finishing a book that is not worth writing.
As for the characters themselves, Aaron notes how they need their own autonomy in order to make the plot flow easily. They have their own stories to tell and should write them themselves.
The relationship between the reader and the book also comes into play. Aaron wants the writer to understand that the reader should not be cheated out of an ending that is meant to be relieving. She also stated that the writer should think of themselves as the reader reading their own book and wondering if it would be profitable or not.
This book can in a small way connect to Snyder’s biography of Tolkien, specifically how he was able to write his stories during World War I, which you can image would have required a lot of stress and attention. This is especially the case since most of Tolkien’s childhood friends died in the War, leaving him completely distraught. In his letters, he discussed how writing letters within the trenches was calming, as it made the fighting more manageable. Indeed, writing can definitely dispel the worries of the world around us.
This was written in a conversational tone, as though trying to be more understandable to the reader and to have a relaxed tone, since 10,000 words sounds like a lot–especially if they are written in a single day. She does itemize her own progress when illustrating how recording one’s own hourly writing can help with increasing the amount of words.
This is definitely helpful since we are all human and we are all easily distracted, so much so that we cannot get any writing done.
Although a thousands-worded draft is going to have a lot of mistakes, it does guarantee that there is a complete draft to begin with. You only miss the shots you don’t take, to quote the Canadian hockey-player Wayne Gretsky.
As for characters writing their own stories, I will definitely say that I have encountered this while writing my epic fantasy novel, particularly since I had no idea what to do with the two prince characters. I decided to allow the characters to develop in a situational manner, so as to be more natural. So, the relationships, the conflicts, and the choices they make are influenced on circumstances beyond their control.
Recommend This To…
- To any fiction writers who are struggling to write. This may seem to be an obvious choice, however I specify fiction writers because Aaron makes no mention of any writers who are working within non-fiction. That is a criticism that I have of the book, though I would also encourage non-fiction writers to read this book as well.
- Aaron, Rachel. 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love. Rachel Aaron. 2017.
- Disciplina. Wikipedia.
- Snyder, Christopher. “The Making of Middle-Earth: A New Look Inside the World of J. R. R. Tolkien.” Sterling. 2013.
- Wayne Gretzky Quotes. BrainyQuote.com. BrainyMedia Inc, 2021. 15 March 2021.
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