So I have a confession to make. I like to write FAST. Yep, I’m a fast drafter. Sit down and type everything in one swift motion. I suppose it goes back to the fact that if I had to choose between walking everywhere or running I would definitely choose running.
I absolutely love to run. I can get where I want to go in half the time. Think of all the things you could get accomplished if you ran everywhere!
But many of you would say, walking allows you to see the details in life. The little things that make the world special.
You’re right of course, even if it’s hard to let go of that feeling of the wind in my face and the runner’s rush. Besides, my boss wouldn’t look too fondly on me running through the halls with my students in tow. (Confession: my students do scamper behind my clipped pace through the hallways)
I’m happy to sit at the computer and not worry over the five million mistakes I’m making, those huge plot holes, or all of my character’s inconsistencies. You could say I’m the perfect fast drafter.
And I bet you can guess that I’m not the perfect reviser. I’m trying though and thanks to my critique partners who keep saying, “Dig deeper!” “You have grammar and spelling errors!” and “Plot hole!”, I’m realizing how to become a better reviser. They even offered to read the whole book again after I revised it. Now that’s pure dedication. (I heart my crit buds.)
So I’m slowing things down. I don’t have to finish the novel in exactly 42 days. And it’s okay if I have to rewrite a scene (36 times). I’ve also found that when I take things slower I’m noticing those missing words or odd phrasing. My latest novel is reaching a whole new level because of those details.
If you’re like me, make yourself some agreements:
- Promise to not go fast drafting a new project until you know your current book is as good as you can possibly get it to be
- Give your book long breaks and then pick it up and revise it some more
- Listen to your brilliant critique partners (if you don’t have any, get some!)
- Learn to see your story through the eyes of others
And you can only do all of that if you slow it down.