Monday 10 September 2012

Writemotivation and How Fast Do You Draft?

September is another #writemotivation month and my aim this month is simple:

Write 25,000 words of my WIP.

So far I have about 5k, so a bit behind.

As a result of my general aim to get some of this draft out, I have signed up for Fast Draft Boot Camp (deets here). Hopefully I will learn to get this draft out quicker than the last.

(I don't believe in rushing things in a desperate bid to cross the finish line, but I suspect that the draft won't be too much worse off my usual for speeding it up. We'll SEE.)

I will let you know how it goes!

In the meantime:

How Fast Do you Draft?

Is there an average? Do you knock out a draft in a week you speedy ones? Or do you take six months? How long does your editing take (do you think there's a correlation? Long First Draft = Less edits?)

Fill me in. In the meantime if you have an entry in a contest anywhere good luck, hook me up with the links.

I wanted to be amusing in the above post, however I am tired. Instead, I leave you with a bad joke:
The Scarecrow was outstanding in his field.


  1. My first one took almost a year. The next two took two months. I credit NaNo for one and BuNo for the other!

  2. I find it varies depending on how much time I have to donate to writing it! My latest one took about 6 months for a first draft.

    That joke is my kinda joke.

  3. I don't really have an "average" time for a first draft. Game On took me a few months, but the second book in the series took six weeks. The second book also needed less editing LOL!

  4. I tend to be bad at pre-production, so my drafts take awhile (six months to a year), and my edits are intense. Capitoline Hill was more than halfway rewritten between the first and second drafts, and I was still making major edits to the plot before draft four (the one you saw) was sent out. I may actually try some semblance of outlining at some point...

    :-) Syntax jokes make me giggle.

  5. It usually takes me about 1-2 months to outline and then 4 months to write the first draft. If I stuck to writing everyday, this would be faster. I believe in fast first drafts because the real work is in revising.

  6. It varies greatly. Sometimes I'll write 15,000 words in a day (okay, I did that ONCE), but usually when I'm actively working on a first draft, I aim for 2-3k a day. Sometimes it's more, sometimes less.

    Lately I've been drowning in editing, and I haven't written new words in about two months. My WIP is languishing at about 50k, or about the halfway point. It's been so long, I'll probably take a couple of days to reread what I've written, since I worked on edits for two other novels in the interim, and I have no recollection of the story up to the point where I put it on hold! O_O

  7. It takes me a long time to edit my movie reviews like a week or two because I'm awfully busy with life. I really dislike editing in the writing process so naturally, it will take me longer to do it.

  8. My first draft of my first MS was pretty quick, in retrospect. About 2 months in total. And 6 years later? I'm still revising and rewriting. Because it was my first, but also because it SUCKED. It's a different story now with mostly different characters. I think my WIP could be finished in about 2 months if that was all I did. As it is, overall it will be about 4 months I think. I find editing way more fun though, once I've got something to work with :) So whether it goes faster, I'm not sure, but it seems like it! Btw, love your succinct goal. Wish I'd done it that way this month!

  9. Hmmm, it varies for me but my last four MS haven't taken me longer than six weeks to write. The shortest one took me ten days. Then of course there's the editing. :)

    But the book I wrote in ten days was ready for submission about a month, month in a half later. So I'm pretty speedy. And kind of obsessive ;) haha

  10. It takes me a long time to edit. All that revising, and re-reading, and revising and re-reading some more. It took me about six months to edit my last MS. Now that I know what goes into writing a novel, I'm hoping it'll take me less time to edit my next project.

  11. i can write a pretty quick first draft, getting the story out is the best part. editing takes forever due to procrastination, thinking of new things to work on when i'm halfway thru, and did i say procrastination?

    we need an editing boot camp!

    1. I agree Tara, we need an editing boot camp! It would make us better writers and editors in the end! :)

  12. I admit I don't draft very fast, but I am going to try and draft 60K words in the next month, just to see if I can do it. It beats taking years to write it. :)

  13. I'm slower than most, I think... my first draft of my current wip took around 15 months and I've been editing for another 4-6. Need to step up my game!

  14. Admirable goals... good luck! :) My drafts take a long time. I should make goals for myself. NaNoWriMo really helped me get out one in record time last year.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

  15. I like all these motivational boosts! I've done NaNo several times and just finished Camp NaNo - they're so much fun! Good luck with yours!! :)

  16. Alex - interesting that you sped up so much with the second! Go Nano!

    Suzanne - yes that's v. true, it does depend on time doesn't it!

    Kyra - so interesting that it took less editing second time around!

    Tobi - I like outlining myself but pantsing works well for others!

    Philip - I totally agree that the work is in the revising. Can't polish air!

    Laura - hee yes that happens to me too, have to remind myself!

    Livia - life does sometimes get in the way ;)

    Thanks everyone for commenting.

  17. Cheyenne - thanks succinct worked for me this time! I agree you need something to work with.

    Kelley - you are speedy, I'm in admiration!!

    Cynthia - yes true, one hopes to learn each time around

    Tara and Livia - I'm up for an edit boot camp!

    David - good luck getting 60k out I hope you'll post how you get on!

    Randi - as long as it takes to make it perfect!Doesn't matter how long ;) (I'm just curious)

    Allison - Nano is coming up again?

    Jemi - yes motivational camps are helpful I think!

    Thanks everyone!

  18. I like all of these motivational things. I hope that you can achieve your goals.

  19. I think this depends for me. I've been working on one novel for, let's see, a year and a half now? And it's only halfway finished. That being said, I'm working on a variety of other projects and have put this one aside multiple times. One of these times I'm going to write a full draft in a month.

  20. Wow, that's an ambitious goal! I hope you are able to meet it, that's awesome. I didn't know about the Boot Camp, I should sign up for that because I am as slow as molasses with my current work. I keep thinking maybe I will sign up for NaNo to get my butt in gear, I definitely need something to get me going.

    Good luck and have a great weekend! :)

  21. i think the length of time also depends on how well your plot/book structure is working and if you can write that first draft without constantly stopping to edit along the way. that's what's so great about NANO - there's no breaking for revision. i'm still working out the kinks in my process, but i can say that my first draft average is getting shorter with each manuscript...unless my story's just not working. good luck with the boot camp!

  22. lol to the joke. :)

    As for the draft writing, I try to pound it out as fast as I can--you know, keep the creativity pumping and flowing. But it's pretty messy. It can happen anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 moths, depending on whether school is in or out for the kids. Good luck with yours. Don't look back, just keep moving forward!

  23. Gina - thank you, fingers crossed.
    Britney - interesting that you have several on the go, does it help to keep several going at once?
    Julie - we'll see how it goes, feels ambitious at the moment!
    Valerie - yes you are right, if you can stop without editing is the key. We'll see how it goes.
    PK - yes it depends on life doesn't it! Will see how I go ;)

    Thank you for the comments!


Please comment, I'd love to know what you think! :)