Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Entmoot

I take a long time to write. Well I guess I take a long to do everything. I once told my ten year old brother who was flabbergasted that I was driving slow that one of the key points in understanding me was that I am ‘NOT IN A HURRY’. Ever. I’m like an Ent. I never do anything unless it is worth taking a long time to do. Sometimes this is good. Sometimes it is not.

The manuscript I am working on now I have been working on for four years. Only the last two have I been serious about it but still, that is a very long time. I look on those who whip out a first draft in a matter of weeks or even months with a certain pang of envy. How do they do it? I start feeling accomplished if I can crank out a scene a day. Not two or three chapters.

I’ve experimented with trying to speed my work along, telling myself that I wasn’t taking it seriously enough or I was being lazy. It didn’t work. I would start writing and change my mind on what the scene was about half way through. I would write a chapter and realize after I’d already printed it that, that was not at all how it actually happens. I know I can always go back and change things after I’ve completed a draft but how can I build on a story if I haven’t got the beginning right? It didn’t work for me. I need to let each scene breathe a little before moving on. The story has to have time to fester inside my brain before it can come out right.

I write slow. Does that mean my first drafts have less flaws in them than those who write fast? Maybe. I don’t think so. I still see plenty of revisions that need to be made and the second draft isn’t particularly fast either. I see days and days ahead of me, letting my story sink into the cracks in my head as I get to know every corner of it. It will be a long time before it is ready.

Oh well. I am not in a hurry.


  1. And good for you for not being in a hurry. I am just, frankly, impatient. I want to know how the story goes and I want to know like, yesterday, so I write fast.

    But there's a downside-- it consumes me. I can't do much of anything else til it's done. I see we envy each other-- I wish I had the patience to write slowly!

    I think your stuff comes out better the first time for the patience, Taryn. You have time to mull and choose words carefully, and it shows in your writing. I have to do several passes of revisions to catch all my awkward sentences and plot holes.

  2. I think it's just one of those things that has bad and good on both sides --though I might consider being consumed one of the perks myself.

  3. The best authors write for themselves first. Go at the pace that feels right for you. For some writing fast is like speed reading -- you lose the essence of what makes the act meaningful.

    Have a productive week, Roland