If you’ve ever competed in a sport, you probably know that your body can surprise you sometimes, especially when you push it to the limit and a prize is in sight.Embed from Getty Images
Writing sprints are no different from a physical sprint. It’s just for your brain.
You tell your brain, “Hey, guess what? We’re gonna go FULL POWER NONSTOP and see what happens!” At first, your brain balks a little bit, just like your body does in a sprint. it’s upset that you awoke it from a nice nap on the couch, or just a stint of procrastination. But once you convince your brain that this uncharacteristic push might be a good thing, and might unlock some potential you have yet to discover, sometimes you surprise yourself. Not always, but sometimes. Sometimes you just get a lot of writing down quickly, and it’s nothing spectacular. But sometimes that sprint snags something instinctual out of your subconscious that is fantastic!
I was recently engaged in a short five-minute sprint. I had a scene in mind, and I knew it needed to be a dialog where something important was discussed, but I just wanted to get the basics out. Next thing I knew, I was writing an ice skating scene into my novel. It wasn’t really what I expected — and I couldn’t begin to tell you where it even came from — but surprisingly, it worked!
Keep up the sprints! They can result in all-time records and innovations, after all! And of course, NaNoWriMo has their own version — just follow @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter. Their prompts are fun!
A tiny peek into that newly-devised, sprint-inspired ice skating scene:
“Have you ever thought about leaving Lux?” Even as Phoebe said it, plunging through the ice in front of her almost sounded like a better idea.
Kaya was tying the laces on her skates. She paused to lift her head. “A few times. You know, when my parents were being particularly exacting about my studies and I just wanted to escape. There’s other cities not far from here, and I’m sure they’re all mostly the same.”