It amazes me how fast some writers can produce. On her blog the other day Margaret Moore USA Today best selling author of historical romance, compared her first draft daily page count to a runner's sprint. She complained that she had slowed to a jog and had only written 65 pages that week-- compared to 85 the previous week and 105 the first week. And she says, if she can write another 65 to 75 pages, it may well take her to the end of her first draft.
I think that's fantastic. I suppose that's not unreasonable, but I wish I could write that many pages in a week! I know there are writers out there who do that and more. But I'm not one of them, at least most of the time. Granted, there have been occasions when I got in the zone and rolled with it, ticking out page after page of stellar words so fast it made my head swim. I’ve even finished more than 300 pages in less than a month. But not usually. If I get 4 or 5 pages done on the days I can write, I'm doing good. And of course, first drafts are just that. The real writing begins in edits and revisions -- lots of them, as Margaret is quick to point out as well.
The way I tend to write may be why my page count is what it is. I usually do edits and revisions as I go. If I'm writing a novel/novella, I will edit chapter by chapter; I edit short fiction at the end of the day, or first thing before my next writing session.
For the most part, I think many of us traipse along getting it done as fast as we can, revisions and all, but not so fast your mind can hardly keep up. Am I right? So here's my question -- How fast do you write? And how prolific are you? Meaning have you ever finished a manuscript so quickly and well written that it needed little or no revisions?
And to keep us all on our toes, here's what Margaret Moore had to say after reading this post and the comments:
Oh, baby, you better believe I rewrite! And revise. And cut. And move scenes. And rewrite some more. I do *at least* three complete drafts of a book and usually five. That's from page 1 to the last page, with many, many more revisions of individual scenes along the way. I can spend hours on three pages. And I've often done over thirty drafts of the first scene of Chapter One. So when I've written x number of first draft pages, that in no way compares to x number of finished, ready-to-submit pages...
(continued in comments)