For this week’s Road Trip Wednesday, the good people over at YA Highway are asking the question
What are your writing/publishing superpowers (drafting? plotting? writing queries?) – and what’s your kryptonite?
My kryptonite is definately setting, it's so bad I don't even want to talk about it. But if I had a writer superhero name you could call me The Flash, because I do tend to write fast. I’m doing nano for the first time this year. I haven’t won yet, but I’m currently at about 45k words, so if you check back tomorrow my status may have changed.
Lately quite a few people have been asking me how I manage to write so fast. The basic answer is that I don’t think, I just write. Actually I do think, quite a lot. But that always comes before. I think while I’m lying in bed at night. I think while I’m brushing my teeth and taking a shower. I think while I’m driving. I think while I’m vacuuming (or I would if I ever vacuumed). And when I’m done thinking, I trust that I actually know what I’m doing and then I just do it.
I write very fast. Typically about 1500 words per hour. I type 60 words per minute and I talk 200 words per minute. So 1500 words per hour feels slow for me. I do pause between words and think about what comes next. I just don’t pause for very long. I trust my instincts and never let myself get hung up on one word when the idea for the next paragraph has already popped into my head.
Next, I’m never afraid to revise. I don’t labor over individual words for hours at a time, that just sounds painful. So changing words, adding backstory, fleshing out characters, and modifying subplots is never an assault on my creativity. “Kill your darlings” is a common writer’s catch phrase. I like to take it one step farther and just not have darlings. I’m not afraid to revise, and even though I revise a lot, I also revise pretty fast.
In my preferred writing world, I edit as I go (and then I edit some more when after that too). I like to write in a circular motion so I reread (and rewrite as needed) three or four chapters before whatever I write new. If I write one new chapter a day, by the time I get to the end I’m essential on my third draft.
So maybe my writing superpower isn't really speed, it's that when I’m writing something new, I know it isn’t going to be perfect. I don’t want it to be perfect. All I want to do is write down that scene that I was thinking about this morning in the shower, so by the time I go to eat lunch I’ll have it out of my system and I can start thinking about the scene that comes after it. I can clean it up later. And if the next scene doesn’t jell in my mind while I’m eating lunch, maybe I’ll clean it up sooner and think about the next scene while I’m eating dinner too.
So what about you? What's your writing superpower? Are you willing to admit your kryptonite?