OMG, I’m so happy it’s Friday. Because that means tomorrow is Saturday and I get to sleep in. Watch me wake up at like 7.
So this week I started my Rapid Write experiment, writing every hour during my work day for 5 minute microbursts, as much as I can, no internal editor allowed.
The result? It’s been a smashing success. I surpassed my weekly goal by 500 words in THREE DAYS. Yesterday, I got over 1k. In 40 minutes! Usually it takes me 2-3 hours, sometimes longer to get that down because my internal editor pipes up and interferes and says “no you should say it this way”, which just really slows down the production of a first draft. And that’s really the point of this exercise–to get down the first draft. In principle, it isn’t all that different from Fast Draft or NaNo. It’s an exercise to overcome initial inhibitions and get words down on a page. Those never worked for me both because of the nature of my life and responsibilities and how my brain works. But in 5 minutes, Naomi (my internal editor) doesn’t have time to realize I’m doing anything, and she leaves me alone.
Now, I can’t speak to the quality of what I’ve been churning out. I haven’t actually gone back to read any of it, and for now, I won’t. If I do that, the temptation is far too great to try to fix it, and then I’ll get bogged down and lose my forward momentum. So I’m just going to keep moving forward, getting down this first draft of the book. I think it helps that I pretty much know what happens in every scene courtesy of my uberplotting attempt on this WIP. And I know where I’m going, so when I open up the file, I just go. I know perfectly well that a lot of the writing is kind of flat, that I’ll have to go back and paint in better descriptions, fill in all those bracketed notations of [need stronger word here], etc. It’s the second pass through that will really give this book life, make it breathe. And that will be easier (I hope) this way because by the time I finish this rough first draft, I will know my characters and their voices far better than I do now.
So, yeah, the microburst experiment is a big yay, and I will keep going with it.