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Author Topic: S l o w... slo-oh writer  (Read 3290 times)  

Offline scott.marmorstein

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S l o w... slo-oh writer
« on: August 11, 2017, 10:29:34 AM »
I even wrote that slowly. I type fast, think slow, and plod along. I tried being fast at publishing but just can't maintain it.

Anyone else a slow writer/slow publisher here?
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Offline Nic

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2017, 10:32:09 AM »
Yes. Here. But we also get there eventually.  ;D

Offline scott.marmorstein

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 10:33:19 AM »
Yes. Here. But we also get there eventually.  ;D

 :D
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Online C. Gockel

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2017, 10:33:48 AM »
Yes, very slow. I might publish two books this year.  :o

Last year, only managed one.


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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2017, 10:34:55 AM »
I'm slower than I used to be. I just got a bit sick of banging them out at breakneck speed.

Offline MKK

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2017, 10:47:07 AM »
Slow...how about glacial?

Because I speed read, which is a whole different problem, I can't proofread my own writing. I have to listen to it...repeatedly...and it has to flow in my head.  I don't outline because most of the time I have no idea what I'm going to write until I write it, which means hours thinking about and then writing and re-writing gaps in the story. They say write fast and edit, but I can't do it. Each paragraph has to be shaped before I can move on.

I got great pleasure and relief from reading The Art of Slow Writing by Louise DeSalvo. It made me feel better about myself. That said, I sure would like to speed things up.

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Offline Flay Otters

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2017, 10:53:41 AM »
I even wrote that slowly. I type fast, think slow, and plod along. I tried being fast at publishing but just can't maintain it.

Anyone else a slow writer/slow publisher here?

I think you're on to something here. I was planning to start a thread but I'll use yours with permission.
Type fast - think slow.
That's the problem. I could type 10K a day if I had anything to write. It's noodling out all the nuances and fitting them together in a contextually believable way that takes the time.
So when folks say: "I write XK a day," what they mean is: "I think of XK to write and actually write it down, a day."

So yes, I am an incredibly fast writer, but it takes days, sometimes weeks to think of exactly what to write.
And FYI I tried the "just write anything" philosophy, but I hate going back and changing nonsense I wrote, just to write. Every word has to count - has to make sense in the story.

And one last sidebar, I don't drink (alcohol) much at all. The other day I drank a bottle of wine in a social context and came up with a great idea that opened up the plot of one of my WIPs. So now I see why those "great writers" were half cut most of the time. But my head and liver couldn't take that on a regular basis, so back to plodding.

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2017, 11:03:11 AM »
I think I'm a fast writer, I just don't have enough time to write. I can put out 1-2 books a year, so that's about 200,000 words a year, but I only write on weekends.

Offline Dhewco

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2017, 12:03:55 PM »
Yeah, I write slow. I've been working on my sequel since I published in March 2016. I'm only at 55k of a projected 80k. At this rate, I might finish in Jan. LOLOL
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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2017, 12:17:23 PM »

And FYI I tried the "just write anything" philosophy, but I hate going back and changing nonsense I wrote, just to write. Every word has to count - has to make sense in the story.


I have the same issue.  I can type fast, but I don't do rough drafts.  Too much work to go back and fix all the mistakes.  When it's clear in my head, then I write it down. 

This isn't my day job, but I do try to write, market, edit, etc. at some point during every day.  I'm not terribly slow...but not fast either. :)

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Offline baronfrosti

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 01:36:57 PM »
I have embraced my slowness by releasing my serial in ten parts of about 4-5K each which took me about six months to write.

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Online C. Gockel

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2017, 02:14:16 PM »
I think I should mention, that although I do write slowly, I am able to make a respectable income from this gig.


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Offline Piano Jenny

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2017, 02:19:27 PM »
I write fairly quickly. But my problem is that it takes me 5,000 words of writing to actually gain 1,000. (Not exact proportions)

This week, for example, I wrote over ten thousand words. One was a new story idea that I realized a couple thousand words in didn't have enough of a plot or conflict to sustain a story. Then I wrote a few more thousand of a different story, including several sprints and brainstorming sessions, and realized this morning that there were parts of it that didn't make much sense. So I wrote three thousand words today brainstorming a new idea that would make sense.

None of this week's words are usable, actual words that will ever be published.

It's not always quite that bad, but I always have that issue in form or another. Like I said here before, I'm always amazed that that rarely comes up when people talk about word count speed, how long it takes them to write a novel, etc.



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Offline Piano Jenny

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2017, 02:27:44 PM »
Type fast - think slow.
That's the problem. I could type 10K a day if I had anything to write. It's noodling out all the nuances and fitting them together in a contextually believable way that takes the time.
So when folks say: "I write XK a day," what they mean is: "I think of XK to write and actually write it down, a day."

I know what you mean, and that always baffles me. People say things like, "Write just 500 words a day and your novel can be finished within half a year. And 500 words is hardly anything! You probably write emails that are almost that long."

Uh ... okay. But I don't have to invent worlds and characters, and figure out their relationships to each other, and make all the emails link to each other with a dash of suspense. In other words, you have to actually ... figure stuff out. That's the part that takes forever.

I was re-reading Chris Fox' book recently and just shaking my head. He talks about doing sprints, so far, so good, I do those too. But then he talks about going to edit, and how he does that even faster than the original sprint?? That's where he loses me. The "going back" takes me much, much longer.

And I don't mean agonizing over word choice or beautiful sentence structure, either. I mean just making a cohesive, decent story.

Oh well. Maybe I'll get there someday.

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Offline C. Gold

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2017, 02:42:55 PM »
I'm super slow too because I think and mull over things. I want stuff to make sense, and when I'm not happy about a scene, I slam on the brakes until I figure it out. I'm not too worried though, it will get done eventually!

Offline Lady TL Jennings

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2017, 03:38:24 PM »
I used to be incredibly slow, but with the years I've become faster.
In 2011 when I started writing it usually took me two to three weeks to figure out a short story and then approximately the double time writing it. That's about nine weeks for a 2,500 short story... Talk about slow mo writing (!).

I gradually became faster and I still remember the surprise when I managed to write 1,000 words during one day! I felt like a manic squirrel running round in small circles, high on coffee.

At the moment I aim to write 10k a week until I've the first draft finished. The first draft is generally rather clean, but editing and rewrite everything in longhand takes about the same time. Just like MKK I need to listen to what I've written when I edit, so I do that forever a couple of time before I write everything down in longhand into journals, which is part of my writing process.

Two factors that made it possible for me to increase my word speed were plotting and deliberate practice to become a faster writer. I type relatively fast, but that doesn't help unless I know what I'm going to write (or worse if I've to delete it because it was derailing the main story...).
I don't like writing in sprints, because it makes me stressed and it destroys the flow of my writing. However, since January I've started tracking my writing and have more proper weekly goals (with rewards!). Ideally I like writing four days a week, have one day for marketing/publishing, and the weekends off.

I'm quite pleased with my current writing speed, and I'm happy to see that there are so many other slower writers here on the board. :)
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Offline LucasCWheeler

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2017, 04:13:40 PM »
I feel slow, and probably am relative to many prolific writers. I'm getting faster, however! I started my debut novel in spring of 2012 and finished October 2016. I started the sequel November 2016 and finished April 2017. I started the third on July 6th 2017, and I intend to have it done in a couple weeks.

So, almost five years to almost five months to almost two months. I think I need a small break before the sequel trilogy though, and I wonder if anyone else considers that in their annual production schedule or word counts? Should we be averaging over non-writing time as well, or only time spent actually writing? If you want to count my meticulous outlining, that's even slower, I think.

It's not at all balanced either. Some days I can hit 10k+ if I hit the right stride, but other days it's a struggle to get to 500, if any at all.
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Offline Seshenet

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2017, 04:14:09 PM »
A thousand words a day is a good amount for me. I have a day job and type a great deal (I'm an editor). Also, years ago, I pinched the ulnar nerve in my right hand (affects the little and third finger -- don't recommend doing it), so I don't try to type more than that, although sometimes I get up to 1,200.

I majored in journalism, so I learned to compose (on a typewriter) and edit in my head as I wrote. The habit has never left me. So, accounting for days when I don't write, I can write about 80,000 words in about 3-4 months. I'm almost at 70,000 words in my WIP and I started that on April 23. Then I will go back and edit and add more description after I finish.

I don't worry much about how much I write on any given day. There will always be scenes that take forever to write and I might end up with 400 words that day but then it's done and won't need a lot of revising. The sprint thing would probably not be good for my right hand anyway.  :)

Offline MClayton

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2017, 06:15:18 PM »
I think you're on to something here. I was planning to start a thread but I'll use yours with permission.
Type fast - think slow.
That's the problem. I could type 10K a day if I had anything to write. It's noodling out all the nuances and fitting them together in a contextually believable way that takes the time.
So when folks say: "I write XK a day," what they mean is: "I think of XK to write and actually write it down, a day."

So yes, I am an incredibly fast writer, but it takes days, sometimes weeks to think of exactly what to write.
And FYI I tried the "just write anything" philosophy, but I hate going back and changing nonsense I wrote, just to write. Every word has to count - has to make sense in the story.

And one last sidebar, I don't drink (alcohol) much at all. The other day I drank a bottle of wine in a social context and came up with a great idea that opened up the plot of one of my WIPs. So now I see why those "great writers" were half cut most of the time. But my head and liver couldn't take that on a regular basis, so back to plodding.

This is me, exactly, every word of it.  :)

Online Lorri Moulton

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2017, 06:30:34 PM »
I majored in journalism, so I learned to compose (on a typewriter) and edit in my head as I wrote. (Snip)

I write this way!  I didn't think about it, but you're right...journalism background, too. :)

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Offline AlexaKang

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2017, 06:48:52 PM »
Yes, very slow. I might publish two books this year.  :o

Last year, only managed one.

Seriously?? I never would've guessed!!!

Online Joseph Malik

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2017, 07:27:51 PM »
I type 91 wpm with no mistakes. I can easily type over 100 wpm with a couple of mistakes.

I write a book in about a year. (This sequel will take a bit longer, as I've been mobilized in the Reserves.) A good chunk of that year, though, is staring at the wall listening to music and twirling a pen thinking about what I'm going to write. I'm finishing my third complete rewrite of my sequel; it's been 10 months since I released my debut and it's been about 6 months that I've been seriously working on Book II. So, I'm writing about 40-50,000 words a month. It's not like I'm sitting on my ass, here. I write a LOT. I just release very little.

I could, realistically, write a book in two months at the rate that I type, but it would be awful. Typing is not writing. Staring at the wall thinking is writing. Everything else is gymnastics.

I figure two more complete, blank-page rewrites to get this book where I want it. I hope to have it to my editor by January and have it out 18 months after my first novel. It may be longer. Dragon's Trail went through 15 complete rewrites over 20 years. It also got turned down by agents and major publishers 47 times during all that. The sixteenth time was the charm, though; this sixteenth rewrite landed on over 50 bestseller lists on every major ebook platform in 4 countries. Put your time in.

I cling steadfastly to the belief that all first drafts suck and should never see the light of day. I refuse to face the fact that there are apparently brilliant authors out there who turn out first drafts that are publication-worthy with only a quick proofread. I don't want to believe that such people exist, because I would suck-start my shotgun. I've been writing for 30 years, I write and lecture professionally, and my early drafts -- this one included -- are unengaging, prosaic, infantile dreck. (I haven't completely disregarded the idea that I need multiple drafts because I'm a terrible writer. But this draft that I'm working on right now -- and finishing -- is crap. If I released this right now, I'd be afraid that one of my fans would leave a horse's head in my bed.)
 
My debut is selling very well. Enough so that we're doing a cover redesign and series branding, and building a hardback version with new maps, and planning a re-release for the 1-year mark with a massive promotional and publicity push, and going into brick-and-mortar distribution. I have no reason to hurry on the sequel; I've only scratched the surface of the market. Further, putting out subpar work at this point would only hurt my long-term career. This entire series has to be better than the debut. I'm just finding my fan base. If I blatantly BS my way through my second book, no one will read my third. Or my sixth. Or my tenth.

Write fast, write slow. Write what you write. The world will wait.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 07:30:24 PM by Joseph Malik »
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Online C. Gockel

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2017, 07:54:03 PM »
Quote
Seriously?? I never would've guessed!!!

Ha, ha, ha ... YES! I did write some short stories though, too. Very strategic short stories that have helped out my career, so there is that!


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Offline Nic

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2017, 10:17:51 PM »
I type 91 wpm with no mistakes. I can easily type over 100 wpm with a couple of mistakes.
....
Typing is not writing. Staring at the wall thinking is writing. Everything else is gymnastics.

This exactly. I type at 100 wpm and above if pressed, the typing is no problem and not the writing. The staring at the empty screen is.

Online Ryan W. Mueller

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Re: S l o w... slo-oh writer
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2017, 11:23:16 PM »
I'm generally a fast writer...when I'm writing. My word counts are not always as consistent as I'd like. I've tried to give myself a daily word count goal of 1,000. It worked for a while, but I just haven't had much of anything for the last couple of weeks. I don't know whether it's the project I'm working, the stress of work and life in general, or even that I've hit a depressive bipolar phase.

One nice thing is that I currently have plenty of material I can revise and edit. Still, I'd like to get back to writing more. For me, it is only partially the money aspect. Another part of it is that I simply want to write all these stories that are in my head (and more keep popping up every day).
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