Friday, September 15, 2006

Writing Experiment

Next Monday I'm planning to start writing a 'Fast Draft' as part of an online class being offered for free by Candace Havens. Certainly I've come across Book-In-A-Month and other similar writing techniques to turn off your internal editor just to get words on the page, but I never really thought the idea would work for me. My first draft is generally awful--at least in my opinion. I suppose I have to get the words on the page to really get started with my writing strength, which is revising something to within an inch of it's life. In high school, when I was writing drafts on paper, they were almost illegible. So many cross-outs, arrows, rewrites that it was difficult for me to write the final draft from such a mess.

I've always been frustrated by how slow I write and how many iterations it takes me to get a final draft I'm satisfied with. And I've always been a little nervous about what I'll do if I ever get a publishing contract. Self-publishing was great in that respect--no deadlines, no contracts--I could write when and how much I wanted. But now my boys are getting older; both will be in school full time next year, and I have the opportunity to try to make my writing a job. So I need to figure something out and make some changes.

About a week and a half ago, I saw Candace's offer for the class, and I guess my perspective has changed drastically, because I immediately thought, Why not give it a try? So I signed up, and starting next week, I'm supposed to write 20 pages a day for two weeks. (I like the smaller time committment too--shorter than BIAM). So we'll see...

I'm not starting a new project. I'm about 100 pages into the one I'm working on now, so I'm just going to try to push it to the end and hope I end up with some material I can use.

Candace says that something amazing happens when you're just writing at that pace without rereading, without editing. She says that there's often better continuity (which I get), and sometimes strange, wonderful, mysterious things happen: brilliant prose emerges from the wreckage of unedited work to delight and astound. I'm hoping for a good dose of that too.
Catherine Avril Morris is tracking her progress on a similar project. Anyone else??

4 comments:

Catherine Avril Morris said...

Eek, good luck!!! That sounds intense--20 pp. for 2 weeks sounds like such a much bigger commitment than BIAW. I hope you'll keep posting and let us know how it goes.

(So far in my BIAW experience--it's day 3--I'm not seeing these flashes of brilliance and unique creativity that Candace and April Kihlstrom speak of...I hope your brilliance comes out quicker than mine seems to be doing... :-) )

Amanda Brice said...

Good luck!

I did Fast Draft when she taught it last year for Romance Divas. It's a very eye-opening experience!

Kimberly said...

Definitely sounds interesting. I could use a push. Something to get my slackass moving. I'll have to follow your linkage and check it out.

Good luck and I do hope you find some brilliant gems in your first draft.

Best,
Kim

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Thanks, you guys, for the good wishes! I'm crossing my fingers, but the closer it gets, the more I wonder how I'm going to manage.