There have been lots of great articles on fastdrafting, but I wasn’t a believer…
Until this last week. You see, I had a four-day weekend earmarked to write. I had a deadline for a developmental editor pass in two weeks. And before this last weekend started, I had…no book.
So I figured, why not? Let’s try fastdrafting. And I mean really fast. Could I crank out my usual first draft of a novel in four days? (Usual first draft for me = 35-40K words FYI)
What is fastdrafting?
Basically, it’s writing the first draft of the book without stopping (editing) and just getting the ideas and words down on paper. Some websites shoot for getting a book done in one, two, or four weeks with this method. I think it must also depend on the length of the book.
Who benefits from fastdrafting?
At the risk of being blunt, people who aren’t full-time writers will benefit. Maybe even some folks who are full-time writers. Fastdrafting is a great time-management tool when writing time is sparse/sacred. I understand that all the articles and advice say: “Make time to write every day.”
Well, okay. But when the day job can go 60-80 hours/week and the hours are unpredictable (I’m a family doc who admits patients to the hospital and delivers babies), then an hour/day of writing is frankly unrealistic.
Enter fastdrafting. I did a modified version of this in October 2015 when I wrote the first 50% of my novella over ten hours in an airport and finished the novella over the next two weekends. (35K words when all said and done final -- not initial -- draft) But it wasn’t a true fastdraft.
I wanted to try it on a regular book-length book. (Book-length for me is final product 50-70K. Again results may vary depending target lengths.)
Who also benefits from fastdrafting?
People who can produce an outline beforehand and make decisions to deviate on the fly from the outline while mid-manuscript.
Also, writers who are okay with an imperfect, incompletely researched first draft. For example, I’ve left out place names or even certain character names, rather than stop and look them up to find just the perfect name. It can be added later!
Check out the next post for "what happened" during the fastdraft experiment!