Sunday, April 7, 2019

Fast Or Slow?

Early on in my writing career, I attended a lecture held by Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jayne Anne Krentz. Their wit, and their obvious friendship with each other was inspiring. But what struck me most was the different approach they each took to their writing. One wrote very fast, the other took a more slow approach. The takeaway from this meeting was I needed to figure out which approach worked best for me and not be swayed or intimidated by another author's output. What was important was to keep the storyline moving toward "the end" every day.

I took their advice to heart and now, with 19 books under my belt and more than that under the bed, I've found an agreeable pace for myself. I know the first 500 words are the hardest for me each day. It's like I'm slogging through mud as each word is slow to develop, elusive and just out of my grasp. But I also know that at some point during those 500 words the scene takes over and the remaining 500 words of my daily output are quick to follow. I can sometimes get to 2,000 words a day, but that's a rarity. But looking at the big picture helps. If I write 1000 words a day, in two months' time, I will have a flash first draft of a book. Usually it works.

But my current WIP has altered my formula. I began the book in early February, so according to my timeline, I should have the first draft completed by now. Not happening. There's something about these characters–Pippa and Daniel–and something about the time period –the American Revolutionary War–that keeps me adding to the story line.

I'm only about halfway to the end of the story and all they've managed to do is share some cheroots and a couple of kisses. Yes, Pippa likes the occasional cigar and blows some impressive smoke rings. By the time I crawl to "the end" I figure I'll have a first draft of about 80,000 words. Usually I need to go back through my flash draft and add in description and emotion, fleshing out the structure. In this case, I may have to cut words from it

Life could be worse.

How about you? Do you write fast, like Jayne Anne, or slow, like Susan Elizabeth?

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