I’m Fast but Am I Any Good? Sacrificing Good Writing for Speed

26 May

writerRecently I have read a lot of blogs and interviews with writers touting the need for speed. (Insert Top Gun reference here) There are tons of writers out there who will tell you that, if you just keep writing as much as you can quickly, per the laws of natural order, you will be published. That is not only NOT true, but it has to be one of the dumber things I have heard recently.

I complete about 2.5 novels per year. This includes writing, editing, re-editing and following it through to publishing. Granted I have to fit my novels in with my freelance but still…that’s pretty good for the average writer. It gives me the time I need to make sure that the work is done and polished without having to worry about churning out the next piece. It is a steady even pace. Now don’t get me wrong, I do know some writers who churn out four or five novels a year. In fact I think Stephen King is averaging about four but those writers are rare.

There are a number of reasons why a writer shouldn’t attempt to write as much or as quickly as they can.

The story suffers – If you are trying to write quickly you are forcing the story and that is never good.

You skip the important detail – Have you ever noticed when a person is telling (orally) a story really fast they sound like they are skipping on the detail? That’s because they are. The excitement of telling a story really fast makes you skip the important back story; the same happens when writing fast.

The writing becomes less about what you write and instead ends up being about how much – Quality vs. Quantity is a fight that we as writers should never pick up a sword for. I have a friend who writes for Harlequin and she churns out 8 books a year. While I love my friend, her writing sucks. It reads like cheap fiction.

The editing suffers – How often do you pick up a book (especially Kindle books) and there are more misspellings that anything else…or a ton of run-on sentences?  Often times that is because the writer is trying to get onto the next book; editing takes time….

These are just a few of the reasons it is important to slow down. I know that it seems really cool to put out book after book but, trust me; your writing will suffer in the end. It is better to tell the story than to put your book out there in fancy clothes but no innards.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


1 Comment

Posted by on May 26, 2023 in Editing, Inspiration, Writing


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One response to “I’m Fast but Am I Any Good? Sacrificing Good Writing for Speed

  1. Pingback: A few things I learned at FitBloggin’ | A Hungry Runner

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