I’m no writing expect and I can only tell you what I have learnt. Fast drafting has been around for a while. I first learnt about it in a Savvy Authors Bootcamp. I tried it, but didn’t quite get the hang of it. I came across it again, when my Crit Partner, Riley Darkes suggested we do Author Candace Havens Fast draft course in 2013.
Candace teaches that you can complete a fast draft in two weeks. That’s faster than 1667 words a day, or 50k in a month during National Novel Writing Month. Honestly, I have managed to get 80k during November before and again in a few Savvy Authors Bootcamp over the years. But sadly not in a while.
What is Fast Drafting? Fast drafting is when you get the skeleton down of your stories without editing or worrying what the draft looks like.
It’s all about allowing yourself to write a crappy first draft. Keep telling yourself that it’s okay, your first draft is not meant to be perfect or pretty. You don’t need heaps of prose, transition scenes, senses etc. You just need the basics. The framework.
I recently read a 2011 article written by Jami Gold. Jami explained fast drafting. She also talked about Author Roxanne St. Claire who explained fast drafting like this:
“What you need to do … [i]s frame the building with rebar. Lay down the floors. Leave holes for stairwells and elevators and windows. Build the exoskeleton in 60,000 words, then go back and start filling in each floor. And after the floors are done, then you can paint, hang curtains, and put your precious plants around.”
It’s all about getting down the key turning points, the emotional arc, the subplots and the beats of the story. You will still have holes but when you go to edit you have a skeleton.
The difference between fast drafting and not is this:
- When you fast draft at the end you have holes but you have a strong skeleton to build on.
- When you don’t fast draft you can end up spending weeks editing, revising and rewriting to get your story perfect only to have to delete most of it because you realize that your plot isn’t working.
That’s me down to a T. The not fasting and being left with a story that needs to be rewritten and edited. Then when I do, I realize that the plot isn’t working. And I hate that. I really do. I hate having all my hard work go down the drain.
So this bootcamp I am going to try and fast draft by using what I have already learnt.
Depending on how I go, I might sign up for Candace Havens workshop: The Book in a Month Club on the 25th of February (My Birthday). To get another fast draft refresher and how to revise over a month. It’s only $35 dollars, which is a bargain.
If you are writing in the Savvy Authors Winter Boot camp like me, then remember these rules:
- No editing.
- No reading the previous days writing. Not even a paragraph.
- Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft, because it is a first draft. It’s not meant to be perfect.
- Organize your schedule to find time to write.
- Send your internal editor away. I find listening to music with ear phones helps.
And always remember, you can do this!!