YO HO ME HEARTIES
It is Talk Like a Pirate Day and also *drum roll*
But me promise I will not be talk’in yar ear off about me voyages and the time I was marooned.
NaNoWriMo is fast approaching (can you tell I’m excited because I’ve mentioned it like at least once every blog for the last month or has that been too subtle) and so is “Pretober” *cue me panicing in disbeleif* and I HAvE To oUTliNE.
The onslaught of November and NaNo ALWAYS brings up this, “does writing fast just sacrifice good writing for words counts?”
In my opinion, no. If you’re interested in my opinion.
I have written about this before (probably every NaNo if we’re being honest. I’d link to a post but I don’t feel like digging), but I’ll write about it again.
(But before that, can we just recognize that I’m sitting here 8 pm Friday night and I HAVE A PERFORMANCE tomorrow and a cloth mask ended up in the garbage disposal welcome to 2020.)
So our question is “does writing fast just sacrifice good writing for words counts?” I mean…I think a lot of this hinges on how you feel about first drafts. I’m alright with mine being a complete dumpster fire, and if there’s a scene with the writing level of a third grader, or with enough purple prose to shock Dickens, so be it.
Because this is how I see it: once my first draft is done, I will revise. Whole scenes can get deleted. Scenes can get majorly changed. Characters added, characters taken away.
So for me, if I’m slaving over a first draft trying to make it the best writing I can, make every scene be shining and sparkling like a polished mirror (what…), it’s a waste of time. Because I might end up ditching that scene.
(Disclaimer: no writing is a waste of time. But…)
First drafts don’t have to be perfect. And you can say being more careful about your writing will save you time with editing. But now you’re taking longer to write the first draft. So either you take longer editing or you take longer drafting.
Now if you’re fast at both editing AND writing…um, are you HuMAn????
I also think that the more you write, and the more you “mature” as a writer, even your “bad” writing gets better (again, I’ve also said this before). Our writing style solidifies, we get out of bad habits (like our character sticking their tongue in their cheek everything five lines) (hahaha oh that’s me), we start to be less passive, more show and less telling, yada yada yada all that jazz.
And I also feel that prose can be fixed easily. We can spend hours mulling over prose. And I just can’t help but feel that you should mull over prose that you know you’ll be keeping (or…can best know at the moment. Obviously if your sending your WIP to beta readers/editors you need to polish it. Though even after that all that “prose” could be ditched).
I think the next objection to writing fast would have to do with plotting. “Writing fast” forces you to choose quickly what happens in the plot. But…that all depends if you’ve outlined/plotted anything out. If you’ve outlined, all you need our words.
And if you’re completely flying by the seat of your pants…I mean then why stop flying by the seat of your pants.
But I WILL say this: if “writing fast”‘ makes you feel icky, that’s ok, and you don’t have to do it. I work well writing fast and getting to the words and letting everything out. I can easily get stuck at parts, but when I let myself just write, when I let myself write “crappy” I actually get something done. I would get caught up if I wrote a first draft focusing on my writing being “good”.
So, do what works for you. This of course requires trial and error, and sometimes repeating trail and error. And sometimes you might find that over the years how you write changes because I sure can tell that how I write has changed.
I’ve evolved. *wiggles eyebrows mysteriously*
Ok folks go buy yourself a pumpkin or something.