Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Winning at NaNoWriMo: Word Vomiting Draft 1 Until Done vs. Writing Drafts 1 & 2 Simultaneously

I'm NaNoWriMo-ing this month, and as such, I'm committed to 1700 words per day. This shouldn't really too taxing, mainly because just this summer, I was putting in 3000-word days without breaking a sweat.

So why is it that the 1700-word days now are kicking my butt more?

Because I'm revising as I go, unlike this summer, when I word vomited all over the place.




Which is better: writing a free-for-all mess with no stopping OR revising as you go?

I've written both ways, multiple times, because I'm a scientist of the written word. The analyst of the time suckers. A dunderhead when it comes to making a definite decision.

(I'm also pragmatic and self-reflecting.)

I've seen the benefits and the negatives of both types of writing styles.

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of each:

Word Vomiting

Pros
-I can write 2,000 words in an hour.
-I give myself leeway to write crap.
-I can finish a Word Vomit story and start a new one, also via Word Vomit, as the other stews.
-I can write three stories in one month this way.

Cons
-I have created a story that is in much more need of revision (at least two more passes.
-I find myself having paralysis due to tangled crazy that is that story.
-It's definitely harder to find threads in this kind of story, since the word vomit has spewed everywhere and I need to put on a pair of waders to work on it.

Writing Drafts 1& 2 Simultaneously

Pros
-The mess isn't so disheartening when I start Draft 2. Because, effectively, I'm starting Draft 3. (When I revise the next day, every single word gets touched and messed with. So my Draft 2 is very much a revision/re-envisioning.) 
-I only do one revision, to work out the flow/logic/plot & character consistencies. I do not hang around for too long, massaging it into some sort of Final Draft--I only do this when it's Draft 7.

Cons
-I go more slowly. I have to revise the words from the day before first before I can write new ones. Revision can take up a lot of time, though, leaving new words off the table as I continue to revise for days. Why? Because I have too many words and thoughts to revise. With Word Vomiting, I can write 3,000 to 3,500 per day. To get through my daily revision AND write new words, I can only write 1,000-1,500 words per day using this method.
-I can sometimes develop paralysis because revision takes longer than first-drafting the story. It makes Writing the Book less fun. This makes me put too much time into revision because I take too many d*mn stops/breaks.*

*My solution: As I've stated above: write fewer words that still make a dent. This means 1,000 to 1,500 words but NO MORE. Otherwise, I start getting behind, writing more words than I'm revising, and I become paralyzed and the victim of my own too-fast-for-my-own-good schedule.

So which one is it for you? Do you pound out your words, looking up from the mad rush only when it's time to start your Draft 2? Or do your revise as you go?

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