HEXOMANCY Begins + Process Hacks

I started writing Hexomancy on Monday, and in two days, I’ve hit 5583 words. I’m hoping that this is something of a sustainable pace, since a 2500 words a day pace would be more than double my production rate on The Younger Gods.

What’s different? A few things:

1) This is the fourth Ree Reyes story, so I know the characters, the world, and the tone.

2) My outlining work for Hexomancy is an order of magnitude more detailed than what I did for The Younger Gods – I’m outlining down to scene beats, rather than overall story beats. (For context, when I started writing Geekomancy, I had a sense of what the ending would be, and that was about it. I went in and plotted more after starting, so I had a bit more direction).

3) I’m putting my money where my mouth is. I’ve got lots of irons in the fire, and if I want to produce work fast enough to keep up with the various series I’ve got going, I need to work faster.

4) To that end, focus. I’ve been more dilligent about closing out all of my browser windows and making writing time be just for writing.

5) Splitting the time – rather than trying to get all of my words in all at once, I’ve been writing in 45-minute to 1-hour chunks. My writing brain often slacks off after 60 minutes, so I’d rather get two sessions at higher efficiency than one longer session where the last 1/3 is like pulling teeth.


So far, it’s working really well. Life will inevitably throw me some curveballs that will threaten this new habit, but I’m going to do my damndest to keep up the pace, though I’m also going to be wary of burnout. Novel writing is a marathon, not a sprint, and hitting 20K in a week and a half isn’t worth much if I then have to take a month off.


4 thoughts on “HEXOMANCY Begins + Process Hacks

  1. Michael you are on the right track and this makes you a “professional” writer. It is a job, though one you love, and requires an understanding of how your own process works best and the discipline to apply that understanding. Congratulations!

    Now, if only George R.R. Martin would do the same. He needs to get on with completing The Game of Thrones while he is still healthy enough to do so; otherwise their is a real possibility that someone else will have to do so post mortem: Robert Jordan, anyone?

    • Jesse,

      Thanks! I love the job, and I’m hoping that this is a real process breakthrough and not just start-of-project excitement.

      I think George R. R. Martin’s production rate is actually fairly solid – he had a major hang-up with A Dance With Dragons due to ‘The Meerenese Knot,’ but otherwise, he seems to write about one book’s worth of content a year – it’s just that his books are four times as big as most books. I do hope he keeps his health, for his and his family’s sake above and beyond my personal desire to see the series completed.

  2. I literally just finished reading Attack the Geek, which was amazing by the way, and I just want to say that I am ever so looking forward to Hexomancy. This series one of my favorites.

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