Writing Styles: Limit Break Writing

Sorry for the lack of updates.  It’s been a busy summer.  Lots of writing, lots of summer stuff, lots of trips, and probably far too much Minecraft.

Today I wanted to share about a writing style that I’ve discovered works really well for me.  My husband Aaron gave it the name “Limit Break Writing” and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

The term Limit Break, if you’re not familiar with it, comes from the game Final Fantasy VII.  While you’re in combat, damage you take builds up your ‘limit’ bar, and when that bar is full you get to do a special move, your “Limit Break”.

These special moves punctuate the regular moves you’re able to do, and usually swing the battle in your favour, as they are quite powerful.

I’ve been writing in a new and fabulous way.  I plan first.  I plan and think and ask questions and do research.  I do all my regular moves.  And then one morning my limit bar is full and I go to the cafe and write like the Dickens.  I write for four, five, even six hours, straight.  And I mean I write, like, fingers flying on the keys, words pouring out at a solid one thousand words an hour.

It’s invigorating.  It’s encouraging.  It’s gettin’ shit done.

I feel like a writer when I’ve finished one of these sessions.

I’m now just over 34,000 words, of around 80,000.  This has all been written in Limit Breaks, in 3000 and 4000 words chunks, sitting in the JJ Bean near my house on Commercial Drive.

I edit a bit before and after the Limit Break hits, but mostly it’s just pounding the keys at break neck speed.

It feels damn good.  It makes me plan and get all my ducks in a row, so I actually know where I’m going with things.  And when I can hold it in my mind, see the characters and plot and the next unfolding of events, I can channel this amazing force of concentration and productivity, and get a book written.

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

4 Replies to “Writing Styles: Limit Break Writing”

  1. I know this is an older post, but I have a few questions: Do you feel like this is your natural style of writing or did you have to work up to this high of word count? What kind of prep work are you doing before (outlining, chapter skeletons)? Do you feel like writing this much at a time produces high quality, or do you have to edit a lot?

    Thanks for your time! I’m starting work on my second novel and am trying to find ways to bemore productive. II’m intrigued by your method.

    1. Sorry for taking so long to reply- it’s been a while between blog posts these days!

      Thanks for your question. I will say definitely yes, it took a long time to develop this style of writing. I had to work at it a lot, it wasn’t natural at all. Or sometimes it was, but the quality of the work produced was inferior until I struck the right balance.

      Now it’s high quality. When I know the material, know the plot, know the settings, know the dialogue, and, most importantly, know the characters in my heart of hearts, it’s good. It pours out and there’s something wonderful and true about it, I can hardly get the words out fast enough.

      I still have to edit a lot. I edit before I ‘get down to writing’ and a bit afterward, and then there’s whole days of varying levels of read-throughs for varying kinds of edits.

      But once the bulk of it is there (ie, through Limit Break Writing!) it’s a lot easier.

      The places it can go wrong are so far only one: you can deviate from your intended path thinking it will be brilliant, but it turns out not to work, and you’ve wasted a day. I’ve ‘wasted’ several days like this before I learned to hold off and really think about the fork in the road, and the full implications the changes will have on the story.

      Plan a lot, write a lot, and keep at it! Thanks for stopping by, Zachariah.

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