Friday, 27 August 2010

Quality control to room 34a

I wrote 4,000 words yesterday. This is quite a large number by my standards, and the shock of writing so much in one day has been so great that today has, in effect, been a day off. 300 words, some editing, plus this blog. Huzzah for consistency!

That quantity has got me thinking. It was all first draft writing, which is when I'm generally pretty careless with what I'm doing, but even so it seems to me that to write so much it has to be of fairly low quality. Not what it's going to be when I go back to that short story in a few weeks and redraft it. While it may only have taken a day to write everything I wanted in first draft form, second draft, when quality control suddenly makes an appearance (though it may not be noticed), will probably take four or five times that.

I find this frustrating, if I'm honest. When writing second drafts, I average 1,000 words a day, if I do 3-4 hours (or what I class as a full writing day). Does that much thought really have to go into it, to slow my writing speed by 750 words an hour? It's pretty common for me to not bother writing a second draft and just leave a first draft to ferment in a drawer in perpetuity, simply because I like to write fast.

People who know me won't be too shocked to find I have no patience when it comes to writing second drafts. But it's something I'm determined to teach myself (until I get bored of it, obviously). It's something I need if I want to make my way as a writer. One published short story doesn't really cut the mustard, and I have some ideas I think are saleable, so patience is a must to get that quality in. Starting tomorrow* I'm going to be working my way through a few first drafts, starting to work on second drafts.

Hopefully, the required quality injection will arrive, and before too long the quality will ally itself with quantity to satisfy my impatience to be cracking on with things.

* - unless Town lose to Charlton, obviously.

1 comment:

  1. The thing to keep in mind, I think, is that the more you write, the better you'll get. If you keep on writing, then your second drafts will surely take less and less time.

    Are you editing, or completely redrafting?