37 Comments

  1. Well, personally I have tried two different kind of things. I did NaNoWriMo in 2005, and it was great fun, but I don’t know how useful it is if you take your writing seriously. At least I didn’t feel it was all that useful. I finished and got a text out of it, but it was so bad it took me over a year before I managed to read through the whole thing. I kind of felt that I ruined a good idea by trying to write it too fast. However, I did learn to write every day, and maybe picked up a thing or two about discipline.
    Lately I’ve done and that suited me better. A more humane pace but still the everyday accountability. And I even finished ahead of time! Which of course is a great boost to the ego.
    What I like best about both projects was the sense of community. You knew that a lot of people out there were doing the same thing. It was nice.

    • I like the sense of accountability and community, too. I work best under tight deadlines, and I love having a support group. Thanks for your input. I like hearing from people who’ve actually tried Fast Drafting before, or at least some version of it.

  2. I tried NANO and JONONANO (not sure I got all the letters right in that one)–I just can’t crank work out unless I’ve got a “real” dealine, meaning someone has told me such and such had to be done by this date or else you won’t get paid! I have Inattentive ADD–opposite of hyperactive and it’s sooooo easy to get distracted and stay focused.

    As for Pollyanna, I won’t tell you how she gets raked over the coals in one of my books because the Project is such a nice idea!

    • I’m one of those procrastinate, then go-like-all-get-out kind of girls, too. I NEED a deadline to help me pick up the pace.

      The Project’s a nice idea, but I’m wondering about my ability to live up to the Pollyanna ideal. Heh

  3. My thoughts are that it focuses more on writing something than writing a good something. Maybe the writing won’t end up good, but it will end up. At the end you’ll have something to edit, revise, and change. So I guess maybe that’s a good thing. “Outpacing the inner critic” seems like something NaNoWriMo and the likes could help do. Best of luck!

  4. Good for you on both counts. Me, I find writing like pulling a tapeworm, so no go on the bullet train. And purple bracelets? I’d be switching sides every ten minutes. If I could get thru a single day…

    • I think/hope I’ve kept my goals reasonable but still lofty enough that I’ll still have to work hard every day to accomplish them. Like you, I have to work hard for every word…mainly because for every one I write, my inner critic tells me to hit ‘delete.’ heh.

  5. Congrats on the purple bracelet, that is really a challenge. It’s a noble idea, one that I think I might be able to take on if I didn’t have to go to work. Oh the attitudes there.

    As far as fast drafting, it’s how I write all my first drafts now. 10,000 words a week. I find my voice flows better and like you said, it helps to outrun the inner critic. My favorite MS I’ve written so far is the one I wrote for NaNo. How do I keep up? On weekdays I write 1000 words in the morning (taking breaks) and 1000 for the afternoon. It’s really good motivation to get it done before the weekend, ’cause if I’m not done, I have to finish it then.

    It is such a high to get the first draft done – while you still like it, that is.

    • I kinda slipped up at my writers group last night. Honestly, I bounced that bracelet back and forth so many times I lost track. Boo, but today I’m starting over…. 🙂

      10,000 words a week? Wow. I’m going to try for a more modest amount, then pick up the pace if I’m able.

      Do you find you hate your manuscript/idea after writing so many words so fast?

  6. You already know what I think. 🙂
    Thanks for posting the link!
    I wouldn’t have anything to revise if not for fast drafting.
    I know that a lot of people get concerned with the idea of producing quality work, and it is true that you can produce a lot of garbage when you write fast, but I believe that good writing is done at the revision stage anyway, this is definitely the method for me!
    The idea is to plot it out BEFORE you start the fast draft..not to wing it. You’re just not slowing the process by going over the same passages over and over and getting frustrated to the point that you’re ready to call it quits.

    • I wouldn’t have anything to revise if not for fast drafting.

      Ah yes, that’s my primary motivation!

      Thanks for generating this idea. Even though I’m a lot nervous, I’m looking forward to it.

    • I wouldn’t have anything to revise if not for fast drafting.

      Ah yes, that’s my primary motivation!

      Thanks for generating this idea. Even though I’m a lot nervous, I’m looking forward to it.

  7. I did NaNo in November. It was a good experience, and I wrote the sequel to my historical fantasy during that time. It’s still not revised, however, because I lost interest in it (which is one of the inherent problems of writing that intensely, perhaps), BUT I have pages of notes that I’ll use for the revision *when* I need to 🙂

    Looking forward to my bracelet!

  8. I think they’re great to help you get rid of your inner critic. It helps you to let go and just WRITE, without analyzing and back-peddling. You HAVE to keep moving forward, though not necessarily in a linear line. I think it’s also a great way to develop new ideas and see if you’ve really got a story worth telling. And one thing it did for me (NaNo) was help me get over my fear of writing crappy material. I’ve learned that crappy material is usually salvageable, but you can’t do diddly squat with a blank page. 🙂

    You’ll be fine! Just repeat after me, “It’s okay to write a crappy first draft!”. It really is! *wink* And most of the time, it ends up being a lot better than you thought it would be anyways.

    • It helps you to let go and just WRITE, without analyzing and back-peddling.

      Thanks for this — it’s the real reason I’m doing FAST DRAFT, to tell my inner critic to step off, and to get off the dime.

      “It’s okay to write a crappy first draft…repeat, ad nauseum…” We’ll see. 🙂

  9. I’ll bet the Prez uses FastDraft to do his pop-up memoirs! It’s the only way to fly. (Remember those commercials for PanAm–or was it Braniff? Jackie Gleason did one.)

    I think FastDraft is a lot of fun. I write quickly anyway when I have a good idea, and if I’m prodded to go on, usually I break through to what needs to happen next. *MY* problem is motivation: write more of this same kind of stuff because . . . of what? What is it FOR? If it’s hopeless to find someone who likes my style and will publish it, then it’s a waste of time. I’m killing trees for nothing when I should be out doing (what??) something useful. I get discouraged and dejected. Sometimes when I’m on a FastDraft mailing list I can keep on going just because there’s an artificial “reason” to keep doing it, so that can help.

    The downside of FastDraft is that it makes more manuscripts. Bad ones, good ones, whatever. Then those manuscripts go to clog up the agents’ mailboxes and crowd MINE out. The agents get bad ones and decree that they aren’t taking any more queries without referrals, and the agents get good ones and make multi-book deals, meaning their list is now full up and they don’t want any more queries. This adds to the huge number of logs floating down the river, giving mine less of a chance. That’s the downside of having everyone do FastDraft. *grin*

    If I got a purple bracelet, I wouldn’t be able to say ANYthing. =wink=

    • Ha ha ha! About the Prez, I’ll bet you’re right!

      FUN? I hope so. The idea seems fun, or at least gratifying. We’ll see.

      About the downside…You’re so funny. I love your wry wit! Nevermind the purple bracelet; I’d miss reading your perspectives if you were forced to always focus on the positive.

  10. I’ll bet the Prez uses FastDraft to do his pop-up memoirs! It’s the only way to fly. (Remember those commercials for PanAm–or was it Braniff? Jackie Gleason did one.)

    I think FastDraft is a lot of fun. I write quickly anyway when I have a good idea, and if I’m prodded to go on, usually I break through to what needs to happen next. *MY* problem is motivation: write more of this same kind of stuff because . . . of what? What is it FOR? If it’s hopeless to find someone who likes my style and will publish it, then it’s a waste of time. I’m killing trees for nothing when I should be out doing (what??) something useful. I get discouraged and dejected. Sometimes when I’m on a FastDraft mailing list I can keep on going just because there’s an artificial “reason” to keep doing it, so that can help.

    The downside of FastDraft is that it makes more manuscripts. Bad ones, good ones, whatever. Then those manuscripts go to clog up the agents’ mailboxes and crowd MINE out. The agents get bad ones and decree that they aren’t taking any more queries without referrals, and the agents get good ones and make multi-book deals, meaning their list is now full up and they don’t want any more queries. This adds to the huge number of logs floating down the river, giving mine less of a chance. That’s the downside of having everyone do FastDraft. *grin*

    If I got a purple bracelet, I wouldn’t be able to say ANYthing. =wink=

  11. Fastdraft

    I’m not a writer, but I read all the comments up to now, and I like the idea of getting your ideas down while they are fresh in your head. Do you have a place to put random thoughts which don’t fit right in, but you can use later?

    I’ve always felt the written word should be sacred. You have an idea, and wish to communicate it to others. I’ve always felt that properly written and punctuated, your written words should express exactly your thoughts and ideas, with no room for interpretation or ambiguity.

    Of course, that’s just me!

    BTW – I went back and took a look at the photos in some of your older posts. I think you have a good eye.

    • Re: Fastdraft

      I do have a page for “snippets” — memories, phrases, reference materials I can use sometime, somewhere.

      I agree with you about the sacred trust between the reader and writer, and the need to be accurate and careful with your communications. That said, I’m Type A++++++ about these things, which often means I don’t write a single word. This FAST DRAFT idea will help me get my ideas down on the page, forcing me to wait to do the editing. I need that.

      THanks for the photo compliment. Wow; coming from you, that means a lot.

      • Re: Fastdraft

        Do you go for walks in the morning or afternoon? At the beach, perhaps? Try to always take your camera along. Take the shots, then look at them when you get home. Dump ’em if you don’t like ’em. That’s the great thing about digital.

  12. Anonymous

    Hi! You don’t know me, but I’m a friend of Boston Erin’s. If you still have extra bracelets, I would love to play. I could use an excuse to be more positive!

    I’ve never done a speed writing thing, but I might try it after I finish my MFA program next summer. Can’t wait to hear how this goes for you!

    ~WB

    Writerbug.blogspot.com

  13. I cannot for the month of April officially sign up, but I think this internal editor is much of my problem. A spend a good bit of time back-peddling as someone said. I”m going to try this philsophy the next few weeks. You can’t revise, if you don’t have words on a page. Thanks for getting me thinking. ~Kristin

    • Glad you got a toe-hold on a new idea. It’s new to me, too, but I really do think it’ll help. Let’s keep in touch so we can find out how it worked for each of us, OK?

  14. I cannot for the month of April officially sign up, but I think this internal editor is much of my problem. A spend a good bit of time back-peddling as someone said. I”m going to try this philsophy the next few weeks. You can’t revise, if you don’t have words on a page. Thanks for getting me thinking. ~Kristin

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