Since my day today was just exactly as last week I decided to write something else instead. Otherwise, I will just be repeating what I wrote last week. Where’s the fun in that? I couldn’t think of anything new or odd today, so I will have something different in the entry today.
I wanted to talk about quantity and quality in novel writing and which seemed important. Note. I wouldn’t be saying which exactly was important. I am saying which I preferred and because I preferred it, is important. 🙂
First there was the quality of work. I personally felt I’m progressing very very slowly in the quality section. I looked back to my previous works and see my growth was very slow. I am making the same mistake! Errr. This was a huge learning processed for me because I have difficulty reading my own works. And if I don’t want to read my own works, what will happen? I will not see the similar plot holes I’ve been making. I will be making the same errors. It was like trying to run a marathon in circles. Like hammering again and again, an already buried nail. There was the effort. There was the hard work, but stupidly and constantly making the same mistakes. This was the downside of quantity.
But is it?
The truth was there was a progressed for quantity writing. But it was very very very slow. I looked back from my works around five years ago since I started in this novel writing journey and looked back now, I see there are a huge differences. So technically, there is a progressed at all. Another advantage I also think about quantity writing was that I learned to write plot. I learned how to thread and wove stories together. I am become aware of it, especially I am immersing myself in stories. Another advantage? I could write as many as I could. I always start a novel right before I finished a novel. I rarely edited them. I will be editing a novel now but my percentage was like
90%: First Drafts
Bad balancing. But then again, I was more focused on quantity. Another thing I learned? In quantity you will know what genre you really like to write. It was because you’ve been writing so many novels, in all genre that you finally settle up into one genre. I started Thriller then tried Romance, which wasn’t Romance at all. I attended an event that told me it was more Literary Fiction. Now, I am more in Literary Fiction and High Fantasy writing. I am deep in my High Fantasy series right now as I wanted to see the very end of it. So by writing more, you only learn which to write and where to focus your time more. You don’t want to be writing a genre you wouldn’t like at the end, would you? Most authors today stayed with one genre. Stephen King was for Horror. G.R.R.M was for High fantasy. I said most authors because there were others who had multiple genre. J.K. Rowling for instance was one.
Another advantage was that you will just literally love writing. What do I love the most? How everything is coming out together on its own. How the story knits on its self as if I’m not doing anything. I am more like an audience when I write. I felt like I am only a medium, to get this story already written in some plane of the universe. How it solved the problem. Another best thing? I loved being in the zone! Just liked today, I was writing for fourteen hours straight, letting the story flow out on its own. That is what I love about first drafts. I just poured everything out. There was always something to put out. Creativity never stops. Can this happen in quality writing? Of course not. In fact, I tend to shift in quantity writing every time I was going back in my previous works. I always add a scene. Rarely did I actually rewrite. This is my biggest weakness and I hated it. It was delaying me to publish a book.
Another reason you may be writing in quantity is that you don’t have writer’s block. You have a lot of this ideas bubbling in your head and you try to write all of them down. The problem? The ideas will not end and so you write one novel after another in an endless loop of circle. Learn when to stop.
Quality was fast. It was smooth. I don’t have much experience with this as my works were first draft and I have to finish the entire book before reading them again. And most of the times, I don’t read them at all. Quality was when you stopped midway in your first draft and go back. You stopped in your writing word target and go back. Only then after going through the first half, you’ll start writing the second half again. This was quality writing. I logically think this was the most effective way to write. Don’t follow me. I’m loss and messy. Right now. My eyes are even half opened as I typed this, I want to cross my arms in between my legs.
Anyway back to the topic. Quality writing was very effective. If you’re after publishing a book, go for quality writing. Right after ending your first draft, rest for a week or two and then go back to them again. DO NOT START WRITING ANOTHER ONE. This advice is actually for me. Go back to it. Make notes about your work. Have a checklist about how you wanted to send your message to the reader. Is it clear? Is the character the way you wanted them to be? Paragraph shortened? Paragraph extended? Quality writing was about this. You should start practicing shortening a paragraph or lengthening them. Rewrite. Rewrite. And read them. Quality writing is the sound advice I can give you right now. You can never get wrong with this. But then again, you’ll be using your logical mind more. Quantity writing was stretching creative juices to the infinite. Quality had more the rational.
Also, it’s important to ask yourself of your goal. I have a high fantasy series right now. Will I be going for quality writing? Of course not. I need fast paced. I have to see the story finished. This was where real passion for the craft will come in. I am prepared to wait a decade to see the first book published of the high series. I’ve had enough waiting years already.
But if you’re goal is to publish immediately. Quality writing is for you. Again. Quality is edit. Edit. Edit.
I’ll post some of my works. I’ll show you a first draft. And an edited/revised one.
See the difference? Huge. I do not like this. I do not like rereading over my work. So the first one has.
I have more garbage right now but I have more stocks of stories to use that I don’t have any writer’s block. By the way, quality writing has little to do with writer’s block. If you’re a season writer who write a lot, chances are you don’t have writer’s block. I think writer’s block is for beginning people who are starting in this journey. They are still testing the water. There is no muscle of pushing to write. They let the doubts in their heads stopped them. It just take a lot of getting used to and a lot of caffeine.
Anyhow, back to the topic. I still prefer quantity.
Another tip? Stop trying to make a novel work. Rather let the story flow itself, let the story tell you what happened next. Zoning in is when you became a messenger of the story. Nothing more.
Good luck in your novel writing!
Okay, this is not normal anymore.
Just saw the stop watch.
I need to socialize more.
Get some friends. Yeah. I’ll do that too. I can do some friends. That’s what people do. Right?
Wait… You don’t look for friends? Shit. I’m doing socializing so wrong.
Until next time.
Date Written: 04/21/17