I’m supposed to write about the pros and cons of writing a series this week, but I got distracted. Next week, I’ll post my part 2 for that. But lately, I’ve been pondering the trend of writing fast. Lindsay Buroker recently posted a wonderful blog on how she wrote a novel in three weeks–that includes everything–the planning to the finished product. On one day, she actually wrote over 10,000 words. That’s over forty pages! And she gave specifics on how to go about it so that you end up with a good book when you’re finished. This isn’t her norm, mind you. Many times, she writes long, involved series with multiple POVs, but this was a stand-alone novel with a straight-line plot, and fast worked for it, maybe even made it better. Fast writing can add a sense of urgency–a feeling of immediacy–and the author’s energy can flow into the pages.
Right now, I’m actually trying to take more time with my novels. I’m trying to create worlds by using telling details and relationships that push and pull at my books’ characters. I’m asking myself: Have I set the scene? What are the dynamics between the characters? Can I add more conflict/tension? Show more motivation or more depth? Add any foreshadowing? I’m hoping that by giving my scenes more time to simmer and steep, they’ll have more depth.
I’m polishing more as I go, too. I’ve never been good at writing a whole novel, getting the entire thing on paper, before I edit the first word. I know some people have to, or they get caught up in rewrites and never finish a book. But I’ve always rewritten on the second day whatever I wrote on the first. Lately, I’ve been taking even more time with my rewrites, so that my scenes almost always get longer, more complex, before I move to the next one.
I’m not suggesting that I’m going to take a year, like I did when I first started writing, to finish a novel. I was learning then, slogging my way through unknown territory. Now, I’ve written long enough to have a feel for the rhythms and pacing of storylines. I intend to finish three novels this year. I’m simply saying that some books benefit by being written fast and some books need more time. For me, now, a slower pace is giving me the leisure to fiddle with a few more intricacies. And that’s my goal at the moment.
Off subject, just an update, my new Babet & Prosper novella–a little longer than usual–will be up some time this week, hopefully by Tuesday. A dream wraith comes for Prosper and wants to keep him in her world. This one has some steam, so enjoy!