Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Stephen King's Great Commandment...
Read a lot? Got that covered. No problem.
Write a lot? Well, in comparison to Stephen King, no. He likes to write ten pages a day, every day, with very few skipped days. His pages are 200 words each, so 2,000 words a day.
Writing 2,000 words a day, even 80% of the time, would be five to eight books a year. NOW you’re talking! Talking the impossible, for me, anyway. Once in a while I manage to write 2,000 words a day, but that’s rare. In fact, I’m pleased if I write 500, though 250 isn’t out of the norm, but 2,000? Day after day? Hah!
What about editing? For me, the Great Commandment needs to include editing because it’s such an integral part of my writing process. I'm a scroller. Each day I scroll back at least a few pages in my manuscript, if not five or six, to read and edit. Then I write new words. Scrolling back immerses me in the story, gets me focused, and reminds me where I left off. Perhaps that’s why I’m not speedy – I spend so much time editing. Periodically I print out fifty or a hundred pages for a “major” read for story continuity, and of course at the end of the first draft it’s edit, edit, edit. So I think I need to adapt the Great Commandment to my own writing style by saying, “read a lot, write a lot, edit a lot.”
What about you?
Janet is the author of Soliloquy, an award-winning historical romance, and co-author of Fogg in the Cockpit.