Saturday, March 28, 2009

Slow Isn't That Exciting, Either (Pacing, Part 2)

Although a lot of writers do write fast, many take their time to push their words onto paper. Some writers take this as inspiration, and think that if they slow down often enough, they will write something worth publishing. Some writers will even take this a step further and truly absolve themselves of any writing responsibility unless they get ideas.

As I have said in nearly every entry in this blog, balance is key. You don't need to write fast in order to be a writer. You also don't need to wait for ideas in order to start writing. Strike the balance in between these two extremes by practicing your craft when you can; but when you feel that you are burning out, and when no words are coming, you should not force yourself to write.

The same goes for writing your novel. Although some books make a show of keeping their pace absolutely slow so that readers can plod through the plot's muck with the author, writing slow-paced novels also has its pitfalls. For one, you should very well know that life does not travel at one pace: one day, you're rushing through the streets on your way to work; on another day, you are sitting in your backyard and not thinking about the time. Your novel need not travel at one pace, breakneck or otherwise.

Of course, this will vary from plot to plot, and from style to style. My point is, writing is not about speed. It's about sense, and if you can write with sense, you don't have to worry about how many words you produce during your writing sprees, or if you're taking enough time out to do something else other than writing. Practice, rest, and balance your life. Writing is just like any other profession.

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