Monthly Archives: September 2011

Writing Is Like Racing

A little history.  My CP and I spent all of last year working on our respective stories.  Both paranormal romances, hers is dark, mine is light.  Both had been written, revised, edited, rewritten and so on unto death.  Early this year, we were both frustrated and fed up with our stories.  You may remember my blog post where I talked about when to give up on a story.  This was that story.  Anyway, my CP has continued to work on hers.  Changing the story to the point it’s not a rewrite anymore, it’s really a new story with recycled (sort of) characters and world-building. 

So, a few days ago we were talking and she was venting about her continued frustration.  I can completely relate.  Writing can be really frustrating at times.  After much discussion, we came to the conclusion that had we just slowed down with our initial ms and wrote with more intent we wouldn’t have had to re-write a billion times over.  Now, for the analogy.

Who remembers Days of Thunder with Tom Cruise and Robert Duvall?  Remember how Cruise kept burning through his tires because he wanted to race balls-to-the-walls (that’s really fast) all the time.  He feels this is going to get him to the finish line faster.  Duvall, his racing manager guy, says No.  He needs to take his time and drive with intent (broadly paraphrased).  So, they have a competition.  Cruise gets to race his way and then the way Duvall wants him to.  They’ll time both and measure the tires after each to see who is right.  Cruise’s way blows out his tires and his time is slowed because of it.  Duvall’s way comes in faster and with tread still left on the tires.  Duvall wins. 

 Writing is like that.  I can race through my writing trying to get the initial story out but if I then have to spend the next long length of time trying to fix it because I didn’t add in enough sensory or emotional stuff, I’m not saving time.  If I write with intent to get the emotion, the setting, the characterization, and the sensory stuff in there the first time, sure – it might take me longer for that initial draft, but it will take me less time for the finished draft.  Moral: Slower and deliberate wins the race.  That’s my new philosophy.  What say you?

1 Comment

Filed under The Craft of Writing, Writing in general