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Thread: Do you write slower at the beginning?

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    Seashell Seller Layla Nahar's Avatar
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    Do you write slower at the beginning?

    If you make up your story as you write it, does it take longer when you are writing the beginning? Do you notice a difference between novels and short stories in this aspect of writing?
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    Misbehaving and stuff Beachgirl's Avatar
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    I completely wing it, but I find I actually write faster at the beginning. It's the middle, right around 15k-20k, when it slows down and I struggle. Once I get to around 25k-30k it starts to take off again.



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    creative genie katci13's Avatar
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    Oh my gosh yes! I write more words in the last 3 weeks then I write in the previous 2 months. At the beginning I have a lot of doubts and worries and I'm still getting used to things. At the end, all the doubts are gone and I write like a crazy person because I want to see how it's going to end.

    I do notice a difference. A short story for me can be slow all the way through or quick all the through. Novels for me always, ALWAYS start out slow and end fast.

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    practical experience, FTW AKyber36's Avatar
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    The middle is where I trudge, and transitions are a pain in the ass. I also find slower sections (the down-time) of the story makes me sit back and think more. Action scenes seem to fly out from my fingers to the keyboard, since I like writing them.
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    figuring it all out Shenanigans!'s Avatar
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    I write a bit slower at the beginning as I'm getting back into the hang of things. However I also have to combat writing faster writing when I reach the finale. I get excited and have to avoid cutting corners in the process of finishing.

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    And so... Tepelus's Avatar
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    My first drafts are slow no matter where I'm at in the story.

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    I heart sexy elves and wizards. fredXgeorge's Avatar
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    Nope, beginnings are my fastest. Probably the first 10-20k. Heading into the middle is when I start to slow down, then I usually pick up again towards the end.
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    Tyrant King jeffo20's Avatar
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    It's hard for me to say, since I don't exactly analyze the pace of my writing, but I think I'm fairly consistent, speed-wise, throughout, or I may be a bit slower at the end as I try to make sure everything comes together properly.
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  9. #9
    That hairy-handed gent
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    No. I generally write faster at the beginning (which doesn't mean the beginning of the story, necessarily, just the beginning of the writing). I get slower when I begin to worry about making the damn thing work as a readable narrative.

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    practical experience, FTW SianaBlackwood's Avatar
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    I write at about the same rate the whole way through the draft, but sometimes it's harder going and sometimes it feels easy. Whenever I feel myself slowing down, that's my cue to step back from the story and do some brainstorming about where it should go next.
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    practical experience, FTW rwm4768's Avatar
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    I generally start out fast, go slow during the middle, then speed up again at the end.

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    figuring it all out Elenma's Avatar
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    For me, the opening scene or chapter can be very slow as I'm trying to find the right voice and battling self-doubts. Then my pace usually picks up, I slow down toward the middle and, if everything goes alright, I speed up again toward the end. But I'm not sure how exactly this translates to words written a day. It's possible it's more how slow or fast the writing feels than the actual amount of words written.

    I only write novels (these days). Short stories are not my thing, so I don't know what the difference would be for me (anymore).

  13. #13
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    I write a first chapter very slowly. I think my doubts are the main reason. I don't want to ruin everything with a bad first chapter but once it's written, I'm way faster because that's when I tell myself it's only a first draft and I can rewrite it later.
    But I'm also slow in the beginning because I have to get used to the tone and voice of a new story.

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    They've been very bad, Mr Flibble Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredXgeorge View Post
    Nope, beginnings are my fastest. Probably the first 10-20k. Heading into the middle is when I start to slow down, then I usually pick up again towards the end.

    Exactly that

    When I have a Shiny New Idea, my fingers are a blur on the keyboard. I slow down at about 20 - 30k ish but get quicker as I see the end looming into view




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    I do not believe in being a lily-livered, panty-waisted pussy. Show any weakness and the story itself will take advantage of one's limp wrists.

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  16. #16
    resident curmudgeon
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    A good, right opening makes the entire story possible. A poor, wrong opening makes the rest of the story almost impossible. Get the opening right, and the rest of the novel almost tells itself. Get it wrong, and the rest of the novel will be poor, at best. This means I work much slower in the beginning.

    Short stories are not the same. I often finish a short story, first word to final. submittable form, in a matter of hours.

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW
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    Depends.

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    The grad students did it NeuroFizz's Avatar
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    To back up Buffy, every story is different, so the way I approach each is different. I agree with JAR about the beginnings, and some flow easily and some require a more calculated approach. I do what the story requires and I don't worry about the time involvement.
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    empty-nester! shadowwalker's Avatar
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    I will agonize over the first few sentences/paragraphs. Once I get them down so they set up the tone of the story (at least in my mind), it's pretty steady all the way through. A few roadbumps as I stop to figure out whether I should go right or left, but otherwise...
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    The Appleton House ccarver30's Avatar
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    I'm a pantser and I write slower in the middle where I realize I have to have a real plot.

  21. #21
    writer, rider, reader...ex-pat! BethS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layla Nahar View Post
    If you make up your story as you write it, does it take longer when you are writing the beginning? Do you notice a difference between novels and short stories in this aspect of writing?
    Beginnings are slow for me, and this is true whether it's the beginning of a novel, a short story, or a scene. I'm feeling my way, sorting through a myriad of possibilities. I pick up speed in the middle (middles are tremendous fun. I'm like a kid playing with fire), but I usually stick about 3/4 of the way through, when it's time to start gathering up all the loose wires and connecting them for the final explosion. At that point I have to slow way down. The actual ending, once all the pieces are in place, is generally quick.
    Last edited by BethS; 01-24-2013 at 09:09 PM.

  22. #22
    writer, rider, reader...ex-pat! BethS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffysquirrel View Post
    Depends.
    That's what I like about you, Buffy. You're so decisive.


  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW teeta6404's Avatar
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    I have tried writing as I go, and when I do that I write much faster in the beginning.
    I have done outlines and story boards, and when I do that I feel like I get the most writing done in the middle.
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  24. #24
    practical experience, FTW flapperphilosopher's Avatar
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    I write fast at the beginning because I want to get it all down in some form, so it's pegged and I won't lose it. I don't worry about it being good or deep when I start writing, I just want it down. On this novel I didn't want to stop because of some fear that if I did the flow would cease and I'd be left with three-quarters and that's it. On the successive rewrites though my pace has varied a ton based on other things, though it's probably still somewhat faster at the start of that particular rewrite so I can immerse myself in what I'm doing with it.
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  25. #25
    resident curmudgeon
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    People talk about writing slowly in the middle. I definitely do not want to have to slow down in that "sagging" middle, and this is the biggest reason I write slowly at the start. A slow, sagging middle means I did something seriously wrong at the beginning. A fast, easy to write middle means I did everything right with the opening.

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