Writing Speed

This was written at a time in 2007 when the current slapfight in the writing blogosphere had to do with whether or not fast writing can be good writing. I tend to feel that the question is at best irrelevant and at worst silly. Some writers write best when they’re writing fast, some when they’re writing slow. Also, using frequency of publication to decide whether someone is a fast or slow writer is virtually guaranteed to give you incorrect results.

I know people who publish less than one book a year, but actually write that book in a binge that takes about a month. I also know people who’ve put out three books in a single year where the writing has actually gone on over a decade. I know people who consistently write more than five good books a year. And I know people who write one good book over the course of 18-30 months working steadily. For the record, I’m a reasonably fast writer and working at getting faster. But that’s actually not so much a production decision (though that’s a factor) as it is a quality decision.

The stuff I write the fastest is also generally my best work. I’m less choppy in every way when I write five days a week and several thousand words a day. For the past few years that’s meant binge writing, where I do 15-30,000 words in a big chunk and then do life support stuff for a while. Some of my very best writing has been in the biggest binges and I’m wondering if I that doesn’t mean I should simply be writing more and more often. At the moment I’m gearing up to find out. At this point in 2013, I can say that the answer was more or less yes. Faster helped, though I’d still like to pick up the pace a bit more, and I am going to be experimenting with techniques designed to pick up my pace with the next Fallen Blade novel.

(Originally published on the Wyrdsmiths blog January 19 2007, and original comments may be found there. Reposted and reedited as part of the reblogging project)