In the novel writing community, word sprints and word wars are common practice, especially during National Novel Writing Month month of November. On forums and Twitter, novelists set word count goals and race other writers to that goal. One word war I participated in had a goal of 7,000 words within 24 hours.
The screenwriting community doesn’t partake in these hyper-caffeinated rough draft shenanigans probably because our first drafts are barely 1/4th the size of a novel wordcount-wise. The average script is only 25,000 words. However, I am still a proud crusader of getting through a rough draft of a screenplay within seven days, and I’m here to share my secrets!
Why Speed Writing is a Good Thing
Done write, a successful writing marathon taps into the part of the brain responsible for divergent thinking (the creative process responsible for raw creation) and allows for uninhibited storytelling.
Writing is like pottery. First, you have to create the clay through the creation of your rough draft. Subsequent rewrites and edits help shape your writing into its final draft form, but without the initial brain dump for the rough draft, you don’t have any clay to start with!