Write Faster by Telling Me a Story

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I once read a book that said we should write like we talk. It was such a quick easy read that I don’t remember much about it except the main idea and that it was a fast read. It’s point was the idea that you can write faster when you write like you talk.

Since writing like you talk produces a fast forgettable read, there are advantages and disadvantages.

Anything that can be read fast can be written fast. You will never write as fast as you read, but you can write pretty damn fast when you’re writing like you talk. You don’t need to make the conversion from speech to literature. And, yes, I’m including all genres as “literature” here, not just the literature genre. One of the advantages of this method is its use for things that you want to write fast and don’t care what anyone thinks. I mean more than just writing you get sucked into doing for someone else and want to get done fast, but it works for that too.

First Drafts

You don’t care what others think of your first drafts. They’ll never see them. One of the fastest ways to write first drafts is to intentionally make them terrible. Make them terrible by writing like you speak. As each idea comes up, write it like you were telling the idea to a friend. Your going to re-write everything anyway.

The fastest way to write is to write it as you think it. Abandon thinking of what to write and then writing. Just let go and write as you think. You will be writing like you talk and can go at twice the speed.

Slow Boring Bits

Every story has some slow boring bits that seem to be unavoidable. There are ways to make up for them. You can start them late and drop them early. You can have other action going on at the same time. Writing like you talk is one more fix. Make the slow boring bits fly past by writing like you talk. You don’t put every boring detail into a conversation, do you?

Those are some advantages. There’s also the obvious disadvantage. When you write like you talk, your writing becomes forgettable. Every writer to some degree hopes that their writing will continue beyond their lifetimes. The fast forgettable read, the page-turner, may not get you into “Top 100 Books of…” lists. Well, maybe it will. What do I know?

What I know is that the shelf where I keep books worth reading again has mostly slow reads. There are a few page-turners because I want to write fast and believe there’s a connection between writing fast and reading fast.

Fast Reads are Profitable

One thing I can tell you about the page-turners on my read-again shelf is that the authors are very successful. They are among the few authors who make big money. While it’s a disadvantage that fast reads are forgettable, it’s an advantage that they sell well.

When you write something that you want to use to make one important point, it’s okay if the details of your book are forgettable. Deepak Chopra’s “The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire” is a fast forgettable read. It was full of details that I forget, but I still remember the central message and that’s all I needed from the book.

There’s nothing to fear in writing like you talk. Go ahead. Tell a story whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction. You’ll be able to write faster and your readers will want more.

Article by Ivan Izo.


2 thoughts on “Write Faster by Telling Me a Story

  1. Justjoeguy November 9, 2015 / 5:44 pm

    My research seems to indicate that dictating the story is the fastest way to write. Get an app that turns dictation into text. Dictate an outline. Revise the outline. Dictate the first draft. Revise it. Keep going until it comes out right.


    • Ivan Izo November 9, 2015 / 9:20 pm

      That does sound like a neat way to write outlines and first drafts. Once the editing starts, it might not be the best. I suppose you could alternate between keyboard and dictation as needed. Thanks for commenting.


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