Bonjour tout la monde, ItsMeAshleyC here. As my summer vacation begins and I have a glorious four month holiday, I'm starting to think about all of the writing and editing I've had to put on hold until the uni semester is over.
In terms of writing, I find myself reflecting on the two very different writing styles I use. When it came to writing Loaded, I took my time with each of the chapters, often going back to make small changes while I was writing. I put a lot of thought into every sentence I wrote and thought about how the reader would feel about each single word coming out of my character's mouths.
However, I'm currently writing a novel with Lisa called 17 Promises (stay tuned for details) and I find myself writing chapters a lot quicker than I normally would. Maybe it's the pressure of having a deadline and someone else relying on me to get their side of things done that's making me move a lot quicker, or maybe Charlie feels natural to me. Her words flow quicker, I'm not stopping to make sure everything is absolutely perfect and I'm having to make a lot less edits.
So when it comes to writing, I'm starting to think writing on the go is better. You'll get drafts out quicker and you'll also feel better about your writing. It's better to write now and edit later, so the project is still enjoyable.
What do you guys think? Is it better to write on the go or take it slow?
Lisa: I actually prefer to take it slow. However, I've found that the projects I write quicker end up being better. The one book that comes to mind that I wrote quickly, I had no deadline. I had no one waiting on me. I simply wrote it quickly because it was coming to me that fast, the passion for it was driving me write, write, write. This was stressful, though. And exciting. If you look at the definition for stress, excitement is a "stresser." I've also begun to realize that the novel I write for me, only me, it takes longer because I savor it. As a byproduct, I also enjoy the process more. It's like when I come home with leftover steak for my dog. She swallows it down in one gulp, and I'm disappointed...I mean, how could she have enjoyed that? So when I want to savor a novel, writing it slowly, it's more for my own enjoyment. When it's a novel where the characters won't leave me alone, and imagined readers are excitedly whispering in my ear "Hurry and finish it so we can enjoy it," then it's more stressful for me. According to sales, the "hurry up and finish" novel are more marketable too.
Dan: With NaNoWriMo starting in a few days, I'm definitely leaning toward the "write first, revise later" camp. For me, it's hard enough to find time to write new prose. If I let the internal editor take over, I'll never finish anything. Yet there's no right or wrong way to do this, as long as you're putting words on paper. William Faulkner used to spend an entire day writing the perfect paragraph. I'd say, do what works for you to get the book finished.
Caitlin: I think first drafts are my least favorite part of the process. But I LOVE editing and revising. So, I actually take longer writing than I do revising, which just prolongs the not-as-fun part and then I tend to excitedly rush through finishing it once I have a first draft. Which I think means I probably should focus more on just sucking it up and writing that first draft more quickly so I can get to the good stuff! But, i agree with Dan, do whatever works for you!