Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sprint writing

I've been sprint writing for the past few weeks, so things have been silent on my blog for a while. My baby is due in about six weeks and I am determined to have the first draft of my wip finished before then.

I am learning something interesting about myself while trying to write a story so fast. I've always been blown away by people who can put out multiple books a year, but it seems like the more time I spend writing, the more my ideas are flowing.

Last night I started to type one of my pivotal scenes for my wip, and by the time I finished my hands were swollen from typing so much, so fast. I've never typed so fast in my life. It was like I couldn't get words from my brain to my hands quick enough.

Let's pretend that my pregnancy had nothing to do with being swollen.

Every time I'm tempted to go back and edit, I remind myself of what Anne Lamott says in Bird by Bird (shamelessly paraphrasing because I don't want to stand up, walk to my shelf, and search out the quote. Just trust me that this book is worth reading.) Okay, Lamott basically gives authors permission--in fact encourages us--to write crappy first drafts. I don't think that she means that we should write crap and start sending it out when we're finished. She's just saying: don't stress over the first draft. Get your story out, see where it goes. There are going to be problems, yes, but that's what editing is for. Give yourself permission to just write.

Whenever I open my document and think: "I should reread through this last section and pretty it up," I tell myself that there will be time for that later. I just need to get the story down now while it's flying from my fingers and stop stalling. Usually I'm an edit as I go person, so this is new for me. And kind of fun.

Are you an edit as you go writer? Or do you hammer out a first draft and pretty it up later?


  1. I FLY through my first draft. I don't worry about using smile a million time a page.
    I don't worry about setting or emotion or ANYTHING that doesn't just come. Those are things that I can deal with later. But losing momentum with my characters or my story isn't an option.

    The thing is. By the time I get the whole story down, I know SO much better what my character would find interesting in any given room, or what they'd notice in other people so all the "extras" the things outside the bare bones of the story are pretty easy to add in later.

  2. I'm in the midst of sprint writing myself. Just try to get as much on the page as you can and worry about edits later. Easier said than done...I do a bit of both:)

  3. I'm a lot like you--I have a very loud internal editor--so I'm so inspired that you've been sprinting. I hope everything goes well with the baby. Maybe I'll challenge myself to a sprint today.


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