Day 2 of Kate's crazy novel challenge - and a question about speed-writing
In the comments section, Captain Black said: I can't speak from experience, never having tried NaNoWriMo, but from what I've seen so far, I don't think I'm a believer. I'm sure it's great writing exercise but other than that I don't see how anything that's essentially rushed is likely to be good enough to publish. I speak for myself, of course, as I have little natural talent and have to work very hard at my writing.I draw a parallel between this sort of thing and speed rock climbing. Getting to the top is the challenge but doing it faster at the risk of safety seems pointless.Is there some other external driving force behind your speed-writing challenge, or is it just for fun? In any case, I wish you good luck with it.
I found this a very interesting post, and I wondered what others thought? I know that for me, though I do enjoy the writing, it's the ideas that motivate me, the chance to explore and grow something from a tiny 'what if' moment. So I want to maximise the burst of enthusiasm that goes with beginning a new project...
In terms of 'publishability', I do edit a great deal after a fast first draft, but I am not sure that I edit significantly more than I would after a slow first draft. I've never tried to write a novel - even a short one, more of a novella, I guess - in a fortnight before and I admit it is bonkers, but in answer to the Captain's question about whether there's an external driving force, well, yes, there are severak:
1. I've had this idea for ages, it's quite high concept, I want to do it in case someone else thinks of it.
2. I am trying several new things for me with this project - I am usually a serious planner, but this time I am writing in very short chapters and seeing where the story takes me. It's very much an experiment to see whether that method might work or whether it will tie me in knots. Likewise, writing YA fiction is new, but I believe this idea absolutely fits that age group, and I'd like to see whether I have it in me to carry it off. Finally, the story itself is very different in tone: it does not have the 'happy-ish ever after or at least for now' ending that most of my adult fiction has.
3. For the reasons in 2. above, I want to get as far as I can as fast as I can, to see whether it's working. Basically, I have an income from my adult books that I wouldn't want to jeopardise by focusing on something speculative for too long... I have, in a slightly 'management training' David Brent-esque way, a whiteboard with my year's projects on it. My novels under contract are A category, i.e. the priority, and then I give myself a B category to run alongside the A stuff - B projects have the potential either to challenge me, or bring income, or both, and they're to be done when I'm waiting for edits to be returned, or if I am not too exhausted by meeting the day's word count for the current A project. So this is a B... (I also have a C stream, and that's for any mulling time OR for when I am very cheesed off with both A & B projects). C stream projects don't tend to progress very fast...
4. And the time limit is because in two weeks I have a set of proofs and a set of copy edits for two separate books coming home to roost, and they are top priority, as they're for books out in October and November. So if I can get Project B well underway by then, all the better.
How do YOU juggle different projects? Or am I alone in wanting to write lots of different things at the same time?