Monday, March 1, 2010

Are you the tortoise or the hare?

Do you like to take your time with a slow but steady pace when you write or are you more about the speed and crossing the finish line as quickly as possible to write THE END?

I SO used to be the hare. (which is not a bad thing at all!)

All I paid attention to was my word count. Words, words, words. I couldn't get enough of them. And that's not necessarily a bad thing but it definitely involves more editing and revising down the road. At least that's what I discovered. I've read quite a few book, blogs, articles, etc that say you should just write. Write what comes to you. Write from the heart. Write without over thinking it. That's what editing is for.

And while that's all great advice that probably works for most people, I'm sort of thinking I do better the opposite way. This is my first experience writing slow and steady, but it's working. Not that I did it intentionally or anything. It's actually an accident I can chalk up to the fact that I'm waiting to hear on the partials and fulls I have out on SAGE. That, and well, who knows what else...distractions, reading, obligations. I could go on and on. But the important thing is that I seem to have stumbled upon a better way for me to personally write. Heck, I even let two writers (who have agents mind you! you ladies rock) read the first few chapters of my first draft, yes, I said first draft, and they had great things to say about it. If anyone had read the first draft of SAGE they would not have been able to type any comments because they'd be laughing too hard.

Now if only I could find a balance between the two! Imagine how many books I'd crank out...

It's your turn. Are you more of a slow and steady tortoise or the speedy hare?

9 comments:

Lizzy Mason said...

Great post, Rebecca! I admit, I'm somewhat obsessed with my word count while writing, but not at the expense of quality. I'm an editorial writer--I go back and revise while I continue writing--and I find that to be the best possible scenario for me. Partly because it means less revising after I'm done, but more because I feel more positive about how well it's written and therefore am more motivated to continue.

Congrats on making such good progress on your WIP! :)

jessjordan said...

I'm definitely the tortoise. It's frustrating at times, but I can't help it. Hare writing isn't for me--although I admire those who are good at it.

Sara Tribble said...

This is def. tough! See, with Jacks I was the hare for sure because I knew what the story was. As for the other YA (not my new one) I was the hare, mainly because I'm simply stuck in finding my flow. Not cool, but I guess that makes me more of a balanced tortoise hare! lol!

Abby Annis said...

I would love to be a hare, but I'm definitely a tortoise. I can't help wanting it to be perfect from the start. Even though I know that's not possible. There have been times when I've gotten on a roll and the words have just poured out, but I'm much to critical of myself for that to happen very often.

Great post! :)

Elana Johnson said...

I think I'm a little bit of both. I start out really strong, with all this speed, and I'm typing like crazy. Once I get about 10K in, I slow down. But I keep going. My middles suck, but I keep going. My endings are terrible, and that's when I start going the steady and slow route. I've deleted enough endings and redone them to know that I need to take it a little slower at that stage.

And you're doing great on your WiP! Congrats!

Susan R. Mills said...

I used to be the hare, but like you this time around, I've become the tortoise. It's going much better for me I think. The revision process kills me, and more revising is required when I race through to the end.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I go in spurts. Sometimes I'm hangin' with the turtles, sometimes I run with the bunnies. Just depends on the day.
Good luck with SAGE! Hope we see an agent announcement soon :)

Sarah said...

I'm definitely a spastic writer. Sometimes a tortoise (7 years :-) ) And sometimes a hare (2 months)

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