Write Hard, Write Fast

Write Hard, write fast, and the fire of creation will be yours.

Burn, baby, burn. On second drafts, not so much. In the Art of War for Writers, James Scott Bell challenges us to write hard and write fast. It gets the story out of us and on to the paper, and then we can go back to edit. I really agree with this, for our first draft.

Bell’s first reason: We learn how to write a novel by writing a novel. Sounds simple, huh? Right… I guess there’s something to learning it the hard way. But that’s only our first novel, the consecutive books should improve with each book we write, right?

His second reason: Writing every day, day in and day out, whether we like to or not, develops professional habits. Something we’ll need if we want to make a career out of this. Once we finish one novel, we need to start on the next one and be working out an idea or two or three for the one after that. Seems a little exhausting and perhaps a tad overwhelming when you think about it, but let’s not project too far into the future, just far enough so we can kind of, sort of be prepared for it. 🙂

That said, this is exactly why I love NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. Since 2007, I have written three rough drafts, a heavy outline for another, and I’ve got several ideas just waiting to be fleshed out, all because of NaNo. But, I’ve found as I’ve resurrected an old NaNo project, rewriting is a different beast. Some of you know that I’ve attempted the Camp NaNo this month, but it seems like all hell has broken loose and has risen against me. Ha. That might be overstating it a little, but my creative juices weren’t flowing like they usually do when I’m working on a new project. Looks like I’ll have to take this one a little slower, my kiddos need their mother, and I need my sanity. Ha!

So what say you? Do you agree with the “write hard, write fast” concept? Or do you like to write, edit, polish as you go?


6 thoughts on “Write Hard, Write Fast

  1. C.L. Dyck says:

    I polish as I go, because it helps me get back into the story after whatever interruptions have been going on in my life–sometimes days’ or weeks’ worth. My writing partner just writes straight through and then cleans up after. I find that overwhelming to consider. I’d rather work it out along the way. But I also know the pitfall of getting hung up on that, because it can breed uncertainty and overthinking.

    I’m practicing training my habits to a happy medium, because I just can’t leave it all till later (later may never come, at my house) and I can’t let myself stall for the very same reason–I may not get back to it.

    • J. L. Mbewe says:

      With my rewrite, I’m having to do it slowly, polishing, tweaking as I go, for the same reasons, getting back into the character’s heads and the story. Unfortunately, at the moment, I keep getting interrupted and I only go so far as a couple of pages in and then I need to stop. momma duties and trying to keep it all balanced…I think I spend way too much time on the internet 🙂

      • C.L. Dyck says:

        The internet is kinda evil that way, but I suspect it’s because it can be digested in sound bites in between interruptions. 😉 I end up keeping very weird hours to get anything done with the writing at all. Today started at 6:30 am, I finally sat down at 11:30 pm and I kid you not, the moment I did, my husband phoned from work. I usually like that, but the phone was across the room. Gah. Sometimes I think they are all trying to kill me with subtle and nefarious devices. 😀

        So now it’s midnight and I’m going to see how far this afternoon’s 20-minute nap (also interrupted by the phone) will get me before I conk out. Please tell me we’re not crazy for trying!

  2. J. L. Mbewe says:

    Oh, I was hoping you could tell me we weren’t crazy 🙂 But there is something beautiful about being able to dream and to work to achieve them…as long as we don’t do something we will end up regretting on our deathbed…

  3. […] slow, edit tough…heck, bleed all over it with a red pen. Last Monday, we discussed Write hard, write fast, this week we talk about the editing process. Some of us edit as we write, some of us edit when we […]

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