I attended my monthly writers group meeting last Tuesday, and as we were getting ready to leave a few of us lingered in the parking lot, continuing to converse etc. Andy Fox and I started talking about ideas we had for novels and series, and somewhere in the conversation Andy said something on the order of, “Well if I wrote as fast as you do, I’d jump into a new series too!” And it took me slightly aback, because I didn’t really think of myself as a fast writer. But once I started thinking about it, I realized that yes, I am. My biggest problem is that I have very short bursts of available time in which to write, so when I do get free, uninterrupted and fairly quiet time, I write my ass off.
But then last week my career took a big step forward, and now people in my life are making a bit of extra effort to allow me free time to write. Also, I don’t feel as guilty being glued to the computer when there are other people in the room now that I feel like maybe I do have a real shot at this. As a result, my writing time has darn near quintupled, and in the past 3 days I’ve put down 12k words. (I keep a spreadsheet that tracks my daily wordcount.) I also think my writing “process” helps me write fast. My first draft is barely coherent and extremely crappy and is full of bracketed sections that are notes to myself. I try and keep all of my notes in the document, because I’ve sure as heck had those times where I could NOT find the piece of paper or the email of the document that had the really brilliant idea for figuring out how they were going to keep the bad guy from doing whatever. Also, I’ve trained myself to just keep writing. Just keep writing. I don’t mean write 24/7. I mean, when you get stuck on something, or get stuck on how to phrase something, just make a note in the text [need to write how they got to the top of the stairs] and then keep going. The solution will come to you later, and then you can go back and fill in that blank spot. That way you can actually get to THE END. And sure, the completed draft is so far from publishable it’s laughable, but now there’s something tangible to work on.
THEN you can rip it apart and rewrite it.