Does your inner-editor slow you down? Mine does. Not that I mind, but it depends on what my goal is at the time. If I’m trying to substantially increase my word count, my inner-editor must take a very long nap. However, if I want my manuscript as perfect as possible the first time around so I have less editing to do later, then I realize my word count meter is going to suffer.
What’s more important? Getting the words down or less editing later? That depends. For me, up until recently, I would’ve said less editing was the better choice. However, I’ve discovered that approach may be holding me back. I’m spending a lot of time perfecting my draft, but then if my crit group finds major flaws in it, I have to scrap at least some of the scene. Now, what happened to that time I invested? It’s gone. This is not to say I shouldn’t hand in my best work to my critique group, but maybe I need to see the big picture first.
I’ve written my current WIP twice already and haven’t been satisfied with it. That’s a lot of time and work only to scrap most of it. I’m trying one last time because I’ve grown so much as a writer and believe it was my lack of experience that caused the death of the first versions of this book, not the story itself. But, this means I’m writing the chapters as I go and allows for more plot changes along the way, which could mean more re-writes or deleted scenes. Is there a way around this?
There are a couple. I could plot the whole thing out, which I’ve done, but I also did that the last two times and look where it got me. The other thing I can do is called a fast draft. I’m sure there are many ways of doing this, but the one I recently learned was based on dialogue. This is perfect for me as dialogue is one of my strengths.
How do you fast draft? You simply write every scene in dialogue using very few tags, not much action, no description. Instead, you add a brief action note to yourself that’s not actually part of the story (for now). See the example below.
(Dora enters the bar, goes over to her employee.)
“What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be at work.”
“I needed a break.”
“I’ll give you a break all right. A permanent one. You’re fired.”
The point of fast drafting is to get the words down as you feel them. The dialogue is more authentic that way and you can get further into your story and recognize problem scenes without having invested too much time into the project. When you’ve completed the work, you go back and add in all the setting, action, and descriptive details to really bring your story to life.
Thanks to Liz Pelletier from Savvy Authors for showing me this new method of drafting. If you haven’t become a member of Savvy Authors, you should check it out. I’ve posted about them once before, but they’ve since upgraded their website and added all sorts of neat things. This month, for example, many of the members, including myself, are participating in a bootcamp to whip our butts and force our fingers to type away.
Do you have a fast drafting method? Have you tried this one before?