Monday, July 5

Go Faster, Go Slower, Or Go With the Flow?

I don't know about you guys but I am constantly bombarded with conflicting advice, especially when it comes to how I should write. These are the three suggestions I get most often when it comes to how fast you write a MS:

  1. Some people say I should fast draft and get that first draft finished in record time, that way I can spot the plot holes and work through boggy spots without worrying over the description.
  2. Others say I should take my time and make my MS sparkle. If it takes a year, so what? 
  3. And finally, there are the hippie types (*winks*) who say I should just go with the flow. If I don't feel like writing for a week, then don't.

With these three choices, I'm not quite sure where I fit. I do not fast draft--it doesn't work for me at all. But I know many who do write that way, and it seems to work for them. However, I don't really go slow either. 2000 a day can hardly be considered slow. I used to be a "go with the flow" girl, before I took my own writing seriously. However, that accomplishes nothing now and the lack of structure bugs me.

So I suppose I'm closest to the second option. I always say take your time. Everyone says a first draft sucks, and they're right for the most part, but IMO, you can still attempt to write a good draft. If you write crap the first time, I think it is harder to fix up during revisions. That's just what I've noticed in my own edits, anyway.

What do you think? Do you say go faster, go slower, or go with the flow?

7 comments:

  1. I just reposted an essay from my old blog this morning called The Right Way to Write. It doesn't necessarily address exactly what you're talking about but it does make what I think is the most important point: There is no all-encompassing 'right' way to write.

    You have to write your book your way - and raspberries to anyone who tries to make you write a different way. If that means pouring over every sentence until it's just right, so be it. It's not my way, but it's not the wrong way either.

    Unless of course you aren't happy with the way you're writing, then by all means change it.

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  2. B.E.- I agree. It bugs me to no end when people act like their way is better than mine or someone else's.

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  3. I'm an odd mixture of the three. I like to get the first draft down, but I can't stand sloppy writing, so I HAVE to clean it up as I go. I'm not afraid to take some time off (which is a good thing when you have 3 kids), yet I'm also eager to get it done. Does that make me a "go with the flow" writer? I don't know. :-)

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  4. I was an English major and a writer for so long before that that I don't really have "sloppy first drafts." Mechanics aren't a weakness for me--HOWEVER, I always have plenty of work to do plot, character, and conflict-wise after the first draft. :-)

    I think I'm pretty slow, but then again, I may be fairly average. I try to write at least 1k a day. Then again, I do go with the flow. If I'm really not feeling like writing, then I don't. I take my writing seriously, but I also take the rest of my life seriously. If that makes any sense at all...

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  5. I'm a write-with-the-flow, but write-every-day person. If I only get a couple hundred words in a day, okay. I still wrote.

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  6. OMG!!! I'm not the only slow drafter in the world?!?!?

    I feel SSSOOO much better!! ;o)

    Seriously though, I agree with Shannon--I also HAVE to clean up as I go along... I've been told not to, but as of now, I just can't help it!!!

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  7. B.E.- I agree. It bugs me when people say that their way is right and mine is wrong.

    Shannon- That's like me. I cant stand to leave sloppy writing. Hmm, no I would say you're just wise when it comes to your writing. A "go with the flow" writer can go months and months without evening wanting to write.

    Summer- SAME! As an English major, you only get one chance. I think 1K is pretty average, if not just a bit above ;) That makes perfect sense, trust me. Life comes first.

    Stephanie- Hmm, I'm not sure you're a "go with the flow" person then. Like I said to Shannon, a go with the flow writer can go months without even thinking about writing. You're at least attempting to write most days. I think that's more of a slow draft.

    Janelle- Lol no, you're not. I have to clean as I go too. I canNOT leave sloppy writing sitting there. It bugs me, LOL.

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