Friday, February 5, 2010

Just Write Already!

There was an article from Writer’s Digest recently on finishing a book and I think it had an excellent point. The advice… WRITE FAST!

We hear all the time to turn off the self-editor, which can be really hard, but I’ve already bought into without any argument—I do enough OTHER kinds of writing to not be married to the first words I get down on some subject… get all the information there, then make it pretty, in that order.

But the point I hadn’t seen that I think is FABULOUS is that if you write FAST, you are stuck with the bare bones of the story at the end. THEN when you go in and add the muscles and tissue, it still looks like the recognizable structure. If you write SLOW than it can develop off in odd directions and not look recognizable when you get through.

Having written a couple fast and a couple slowly, I am going to fall into line and endorse this idea. I am having to loop back and re-plan and retie and re-plot in order to get Conspiracy back into line because I took to long to do it. Granted, I wrote another book, edited and polished yet another, and stopped to do that pesky query thing in there, so I wasn’t actually WRITING slowly as taking detours from writing.

Now I believe in the end all three books will be better for this loop back, rethink process I’ve got going, but it really should have been part of the rewrite, not the first draft.

My New Plan

I’ve said before that I intended to have writing months and edit/query months, and I am sticking with that, but I am adding a new rule…. ONE FREAKING PROJECT AT A TIME! That isn’t to say I am giving up my little side projects, but ONDWAY has been stressing me out, so I think I am going to drop to a less predictable cycle…write when I write, like I have with my fanfics. Because I think that has interfered with my mojo, too—having a schedule to meet.

When I get all my ducks FINALLY back into line, I will finish Conspiracy, and then I will turn to just editing until June, when, with friends, we plan to have a writing month (a sort of private NaNo—though not so private you can’t join too, if you want—it’s just not PUBLIC). I think that may just be how I do first drafts from now on… June and November, with some time in between to write the holes… We’ll see. I’m pretty open to changing things up to see what works.

And NOW an Opportunity For YOU!

Moonrat, the Blogger of Editorial Ass (who all writers should be following anyway, she is helpful, entertaining and kind), is holding a Write Your A$$ Off DAY… this weekend. She’s not rigid. Pick a day, any day (even today—sorry I didn’t tell you in time—Monday’s okay, too), and then Tuesday report back with your success.

Having a family, one of whom is recovering from pneumonia, I probably can’t dedicate ONE day, and I’m not positive I’m up to writing again yet, but I think I will TRY to give it an 8 hours over the three days shot, just to see if this is the kick in the butt I need to get going again.

So I know it’s short notice, but I encourage all of you to give it a whirl.


Helen Ginger said...

It's very interesting to hear how others write. My advice, it one technique just isn't working for you, try another. Sounds like you've found what will work for you.

Straight From Hel

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Now, this IS interesting. I've never consider fast vs slow. I simply write at the speed I write. I never considered various paces could have various results. But, given a few minutes to think about, it does make sense. I love stuff that makes sense.

Best Wishes Galen.
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Watery Tart said...

Helen-totally agree that there is always something else to try if what you're working on isn't working! I think my biggie is that writing and editing don't play nicely... it's like having a Leo and a Virgo to dinner... one wants to get all expansive, which stresses out the up-tight one, and the other wants to organize, which makes the creative one pout...

Galen--it IS nice when things makes sense, isn't it?! That may be why this finally struck me as a rational thing to do (rather than just a survival technique for getting something done now and then)

Jan Morrison said...

I think I had my write your ass off day on Wednesday when I did 3 thousand. I may try and get a few more thousand in this weekend though. I have a rough hope of getting through thirty thou this month thus making my first draft DONE! So, I will get at it. So hard to find time to practice my accordion though...

Amy said...

First off, hey! I never got a chance to let you know that I'm following you. Or, for that matter, that I started a blog. So here I am.

Second, writing slow - it's what stopped me in my tracks with my original full-length fanfic. It completely lost any substantial plot it may have had to begin with. So I agree.

Third, private (but not public) nano sounds tempting. I never got to finish the first one, even with that personal goal I had set (to finish it by December 30th). But I'll be done with school (?!) by mid-May, so June might actually be a good time to finally focus on writing that's NOT academic.

TreeX said...

Interesting... I think I stumbled onto this tactic on my own late last academic year; have written two papers since, and so far the results seem encouraging -- I'm still waiting for the big one though, which should come through early next week (let's hope I passed the course first time around, it's a big one to have to redo)

Watery Tart said...

Jan, I hope you make your goal and finish! Good luck!

Amy-I DIDN'T know you were following! Good to see you! And I will count you in on the June NaNo--we can do it as a Facebook group or something, so we are only accountable internally! I will look at your blog a bit more tomorrow!

Joris-it works for papers too! I should have mentioned this! Though the revision on this verison of professional (or academic) paper is HELL but better than the writing being hell, as writing hell takes longer than revision hell.

Anybody hoping to avoid hell needs to just find a sugar daddy (or mama)