Quantity instead of quality.

That’s the worry you’re going to have again and again if you try to write quickly.

That you’re sacrificing actual good writing in the pursuit of speed.

It’s probably a criticism you’re going to hear more than once, as well. That by charging on, and hammering away, you are removing the beauty and art of novels. They’re supposed to be something you suffer over, which are delicately put together with some blood, some sweat and most definitely some tears. And you, by producing work at such speed, are trampling what is great about the artform and creating – to put it indelicately – utter shit.

And yes, it would be lovely to sit back and write at your own sweet speed. To occasionally take month after month off when inspiration fails to strike – and maybe, if you’re lucky – produce an actual masterpiece every three years, or five years, or seven years. Or maybe one great work in your life and call it quits.

But, if you want to be successful as an indie author, that isn’t an option. If you want to make a career out of writing, you’re going to have to produce books.

Here’s the thing, though. I think that by writing faster I’m improving my actual craft. All the practice I’m getting, the near ceaseless dedication, is making me a much better writer. I feel I have a stronger sense of plot and structure, I am getting a quicker hold of my characters, and even my prose is getting better in the first draft. It still needs a hell of a lot of work, of course, but I know when I pick up the first rough draft now there is more good stuff there than there ever used to be.

Of course, there are points when it all turns to rubbish, but I’m getting good at recognising them. When I’m tired and my imagination goes flat so that I can’t find the words, then I pull back. But I make sure after I recharge my batteries, I’m ready to charge at it again.

Maybe there are only so many words I can write in my life and maybe I am depleting them by writing so fast. But, at the moment, that’s not how I feel. Right now, I believe that writing quickly is honing my craft, and that I’m improving every day.

My debut novel, THE WANNABES – which has been out of print for a little while – is now available for free! A supernatural thriller of beautiful actresses and deadly ambition in London town, it’s well worth your time. You can get your copy here!

One thought on “How to Write Quickly – part 6: Quality vs Quantity

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