Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's Not Always About the Quantity

I've been stressing a little bit about how I'm not building up the wordcount as fast as I'd like with this WIP. I had some major time over the weekend to write on the hockey bus road trip (a bus full of active ten year old boys is not that dissimilar from a crowded subway train where I manage to do lots of writing) but I only did about ten pages or so. Not a huge amount but not bad since prior to that I'd been squeaking out maybe a page or two every couple of days. Seriously below my usual writing rate.

But something interesting happened a few days ago. I wrote two short paragraphs. That's all. And then I stopped to re-read them. Why? Because in those two simple paragraphs I'd found the essence of my heroine. The 'why' of her existence and discovered the intrigue of wanting to get to know her even more. I was finally hooked by her when before I'd wondered if she was going to be this bland stereotype throughout the book. If she was, why would I want my hero to spend any time with her? That was what was causing me to write so slowly. I was still figuring her out.

You see, I hadn't truly gotten a handle on her until I'd written that measly bit of wordcount - about 100 words in total. Once I'd written those two paragraphs the writing became easier - faster. Sometimes it only takes a sentence or two that will release the torrent of words later.

So what's the moral of all this?

Don't worry if your words are squeaking out at a snail's pace. Quantity is certainly nice and definitely important in finishing that dreaded first draft but even in the driest of deserts you can find some moisture that will keep you going. Keep writing, even when you're in a dry patch, even if it's just a few hundred words at a time. Because you never know which words will be the ones to release the floodgates.


  1. That's a great projection for 2010. (I'm also a December baby)

    I think 2010 is going to be a great year and I'm looking foward to it!

  2. Hi Blee Bonn! Sorry, I just saw your comment. Thanks for stopping by and I'm with you - 2010 is going to be great!!