I got challenged to write a book of 100 pages in two weeks. I see this challenge as a game that can be played in many different ways. What are the most effective strategies for writing a lot in a short period of time?

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    Note that asking what to write is off-topic here; you'll need to focus on techniques, not cotent. Jul 16, 2015 at 21:33
  • As you can imagine I'm experimenting with the provided solutions and WILL mark the solution that worked best for me.
    – JasperJ
    Jul 17, 2015 at 0:24
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    You could use something like Scott Pakin's automatic complaint-letter generator, over and over :)
    – user2686
    Jul 17, 2015 at 20:17
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    If you manage, you'll probably notice that what came out of those 14 days of work wasn't so much a book, as a first draft of a book, but that's just fine. Having a first draft is a big step towards having a completed book and it gives you something to edit and polish.
    – Erk
    Jun 24, 2016 at 14:30

5 Answers 5


NaNoWriMo challenges everyone to write 50.000 words in one month. I took part in November 2013 and wrote a little over 50.000 words in ten days.

What I did was just write, whatever came into my head, without caring much for perfect style or story logic. I later went over the whole thing more slowly and rewrote to polish the language and clean up plot holes.

Personally, I didn't much think or worry about how to do this, because I had some previous writing experience. But there are tips on the NaNoWriMo website and in their forums, as well as in a book published by the founder of the event (which I have but didn't yet read).

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    Thank you for making me aware of NaNoWriMo. I've been considering writing a novel for years and I now anticipate doing so in November. Also, this is excellent advice. Writing a book in two weeks and taking it seriously, in my opinion, does not mean producing a novel ready to publish in two weeks but rather producing a novel-length manuscript which will subsequently require heavy editing. And that's ok!
    – sirdank
    Jul 16, 2015 at 13:01
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    One tip from me: when after a few days you hit a wall, or you don't know how to start, just write down whatever thoughts you have or what you see and keep going from association to association until you get in the flow again. Just don't worry about plot and let your unconscious lead you. You can always clean up later, but while you write it is most important that you keep writing. You can use the time until November to come up with a story seed: a scene, a character, some core idea. But I advise you not to plot, although some people do. Have fun!
    – user5645
    Jul 16, 2015 at 18:28

As "what" mentioned above, NaNoWriMo is definitely a great resource to use to motivate you to produce a lot of writing in a limited amount of time. For your current project, these are my suggestions:

  • Pace yourself. Plan out how much you plan to write each day to meet your goal of 100 pages in 2 weeks. (That's approximately 7 pages a day, but you'll probably want some time to revise, so go for 8-10 pages a day.)
  • Jot down your ideas when you're not writing. If sudden inspiration strikes and you can't write at the moment, record them so you don't forget later.
  • Don't worry too much about logistics at first. First "dump" and just write all your ideas. Keep going and don't dwell too much on the perfect word or way to phrase something. You can polish all of that during the editing period. Stopping too often to change details will make you lose your train of thought.
  • Beat writer's block. It's bound to happen. Find out what works for you (e.g. reading, taking a quick jog, etc. Every writer has their own preferences.)

Good luck! I hope you find this project enjoyable and very rewarding.


First of all I'd ask myself what kind of book it's supposed to be, and what kind of audience I'd make it for. Then I'd ask myself what this audience expects me to produce (if writing a romance novel for instance there'd be a huge emphasis on describing the bodies; creating actual notes of word-banks that might be used might help).

Then I'd find a theme I'd write about and make a flowchart what are themes close to it - anything that comes to mind. If the goal is 50k words I'd plan roughly 1k-5k words per theme, and I'd also make a pretty precise plan about the expected wordcount per chapter/theme.

On day two I'd start writing and adapt the plan according to the output I produce.


As has been mentioned earlier, the method for NaNoWriMo is very effective. It's how I got through my first manuscript in 2 and a half months. I suggest a few things to help with this:

  1. Start with an outline/basic idea of what you want. This will help prevent writers block and major rewrites later on.
  2. Don't stop to consider word choice, sentence structure, etc. Just write and keep writing until you've blasted through your word count for the day. You can always edit later.
  3. If you are goal-driven, like I am, give yourself daily/weekly goals to achieve. This will help keep you motivated and focused on the goal.
  4. When you're not writing, keep something with you to take notes on. You may get inspiration randomly sitting in a meeting at work or at the doctor's office. If I'm going somewhere where it's acceptable, I usually carry my bluetooth keyboard and my phone, so I can write straight into the document when I'm away from my computer.

I would poke around Wikipedia and just find some obscure yet interesting event that happened 50 to 500 years ago. Flesh out the story with your own made up stuff. Boom, there you go! Also, do an outline, it will help in fleshing out details.

Clyde Cussler does this a lot and he is a very successful writer.

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    Hi. Can you edit to focus this more on technique and not on what to write? (What to write is off-topic and that's what you address in the first half of this answer.) Thanks. Jul 16, 2015 at 21:38

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