Fast Drafting

I’m fast drafting this week. About two weeks ago I started writing, from scratch, a novella for submission next month. The minimum word count is 25,000 words.

I had a few rough starts but now I have 70% of the 25,000 words done. I’ve had to do that by writing a fast first draft.

I’ve heard of people who write a LOT of words in a day, a week, etc. That’s pretty cool and very impressive but if I’m fast drafting it’s usually out of a strangling sense of desperation. I prefer to take my time writing.

I usually don’t like to write fast first drafts but after having done NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) a few times, where the goal is to write 50,000 words in a month, it’s not the physical aspect of the fast drafting that bothers me as the sense of just writing so darn fast.

However, since I also tend to be more of a reviser (I love to revise), the faster I can get a draft done, the more time I have to revise. Which is the fun part for me.

And they say that when you write fast, you turn off that darn internal critic.

And it’s true. When I’m writing fast that internal critic, whom I imagine as a shriveled, prune-faced little troll, isn’t able to caper around and cackle about what a cruddy writer I am. Or at least it can, if it chooses, but I can’t hear it. I’m too focused on the writing.

And even though it may mutter, as I close the file for the day, that what I just wrote was probably the biggest pile of caca ever written in the history of the world, the next day I fast draft the next scene and drown it out again.

I don’t, as a rule, stop and read over what I’ve fast drafted. I just push through to the end. Then I let it sit for a bit. (That rarely happens, though, as I’m always rushing to meet some submission deadline) and then I get to work revising.

The deadline for the submission of this particular novella is August 10 so if I can get the draft done this week (my goal) I’ll have at least 10 days to revise.

I prefer a good solid month.

This novella is not under contract, by the way. It’s a spec submission. But I have friends who are writing under contract and from what they say it’s quite the experience.

Anyway, more fast drafting today.

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5 Responses to Fast Drafting

  1. Digital Dame says:

    Wow, I’m in awe. Good luck with the novella!

    I like the fast drafting, it makes you at least get something down like you said, without the inner critic stifling every word.

  2. jennareynolds says:

    Yeah, that darn inner critic. But then, once the draft is done, and I start to revise, I’ll have to call the little devil back cause that’s when I’ll need him. 🙂

  3. Amy Ruttan says:

    Writing under contract, being pregnant, darn near killed me!! LOL!

    I’m trying to finish something for Friday. Yeah I’m crazy. It’s only 11k so not too bad. Still we’ll see. I was going to write last night, but the DH was helping our neighbor not become the next cadidate for a Darwin award. Yeesh.

  4. Right now I’m still in the research stage of my WIP. Once that’s done, I plan to do a really fast rough draft. One, to shut off the inner editor as you mentioned. And second, there’s something very exhilerating about it.

  5. jennareynolds says:

    They say that writing under pressure can, as you say, Gypsyscarlett, be exhilarating. I have to admit there is something giddy about it all.

    Right now, I’m currently back to working full-time, albeit, only temporarily, so I have to once again squeeze my writing in the early mornings or evenings.

    I can only imagine how grueling that was for you, Amy. Writing is hard work, I don’t care what anybody says. It’s exhausting! 🙂

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