Monday, February 2, 2015

Advice For Writers #22: In Defense Of Writing Slowly

Alex Steele here with your weekly advice! Let's jump right in shall we?

I've heard a lot of people who say to just rush through your first draft, just get it down and move on. I get the reasoning  for this especially for first-time writers who are dreading it, you know, just get it down and move on. Then there's the fact that as most people say the first draft always sucks.... I don't really believe this though.

Before we continue let me say that if you're one of those people who rush through their first draft and that's a great method for you then go ahead and skip this entire post. It's not for you. There's nothing wrong with this method. I just don't like it, and, the last thing I want to do, is criticize your writing method. What works for you as an individual is all that matters!

First of all, say you rush through your first draft and then you have a bunch of holes in your plot and a bunch of storylines that go nowhere and on and on and on. That's just more work to do in revisions!

Some people might dread the first draft but I dread the revisions, the more time I take on a first draft the less I have to do in revisions and the more willing I am to pick my story up again and revise it.

I don't think it's always the case that a first draft sucks. Obviously it's not perfect. There's always going be changes that are needed, things you overlooked, and the ever present edits, but that doesn't mean your first draft has to be terrible!

In defence of writing slowly, I think, for me at least, it's better to write my first draft as slow as need be, to honestly do the best I possibly can even if it takes way longer than it would normally take to write a first draft. Then there's less to do later on! Most people rush through drafting to get to revisions, but if you take your time drafting, there's less to do in edits.

Now, really there's no right or wrong way to draft and edit, there's no tips I can give you to writing slower and having less to edit, my only real tip is to not force yourself to rush through a draft, take all the time you need even if it's years. All that matters at this point is that you're happy with your writing and your story.

So yes, write slow, take your time, that's my advice for today! Let me know whether you prefer to take your time drafting, rush through it or something in between!

Write on, write on.


  1. Funny, I just wrote an guest article for a friend's blog, and the topic was "a pep talk for slow writers." :)

    Thanks for writing about this. It's to know there are other slow writers out there. My "lack of speed" is due mostly to my lifestyle / work schedule, which leaves only weekends for novel-writing. But even when I'm as focused as I possibly can be, the words come - but not very quickly. It's one of the reasons why I tried to spend as little time as possible on Twitter during NaNoWriMo. Whenever I saw someone tweet about how many words they banged out in 1 hour or during a lunch break, I got frustrated because I kept comparing myself to them. We shouldn't do that to ourselves.

    The one thing I try to avoid doing during a first draft, however, is revising or editing sections I've already written. As strong as the itch might be, I force myself to write down the new idea on a list I've got going for Draft #2. At this point, I'm more interested in forward progress than backtracking, especially when I'm down to the last 10,000 to 12,000 words.

    1. Haha, that's awesome!

      Yeah, I realized during NaNo that there are other slow writers and that it helps to know not everyone writes so fast! Because, sometimes you don't have as much time, and sometimes you just like taking your time! I can write fast when I'm really in the mood to write, but I still like to take my time.

      And I was the same way the first week on NaNo, because even though I stayed pretty ahead of schedule there were so many people writing so fast and it would still make me feel like a bit of a failure, I feel like slow writers need to ban together! So, that they don't get discouraged by all the fast writers!

      And yes, revising and editing, that's something I also try not to do when drafting because then it just turns into a never ending cycle and you never get the end of the book! I like the idea of keeping a list for the second draft though, I might have to steal that idea!

      Thanks for stopping by and happy writing! =)


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