word sprints

Hello fellow IWSG members! I have a positive post this month! FINALLY.

So, what’s a word sprint?

As far as I can tell, it’s a concept that arose with NaNoWriMo: you set a time range with other writers–10 minutes, 15 minutes, an hour, or any other interval you want–and you write as many words as you can in that time. Some people set goals before they start, others simply try to get words on the page (I’m one of the latter). At the end, you check in with the other sprinters and compare word counts.

They. Are. Magic.

There’s something about writing with other people for a set amount of time that lets my fingers fly. I wrote 2700 words the other night thanks to word sprints. I didn’t expect to write at all that evening, and instead I got scenes that formed in the heat of the moment, scenes that deviated from my original thought process but were so much better for it.

No, really. I had a nebulous idea in my head for one scene, and another scene simply started with the mental image of a house’s eaves dripping with melting snow. Now I have an incredibly important character for my MC’s development, a better sense of my MC’s voice, and a greater love for this WIP in general.

I needed those word sprints that night.

I’m not saying they’ll always be magic. You may have a block you can’t get past even with a deadline, or you may be between ideas (whether for a scene or a character or for entire WIPs). But when you feel like you can’t write–and you want to–they’re a great thing to try. Get on Twitter, look for others who want to sprint or are already sprinting, and get those words onto the page.

You may write something you never saw coming.