View Full Version : Quick and Easy vs. Slow and Difficult - Quality?

10-01-2012, 02:52 PM
I keep trying new genres and new styles in my writing, and I'm trying to figure out if there's a connection between the ease with which I write something and the quality of what I produce.

I've recently set myself a goal of writing at least 10K words a week. Based on my traditional writing speed, this shouldn't have been a challenge, but at the same time that I set the goal I started writing a YA novel rather than my traditional m/m Romance. Writing became a slog. I was excited about the project but I had to FORCE myself to sit down and get my words out, and on the final day of each week I always had to play mad catch-up, forcing 4-5K words out just to make the goal. Frustrated by this after four weeks, I put the YA novel on the back burner and started a m/m project, and the words are flowing without effort. (I'm not a total YA rookie - this is my third novel-length project, so you'd think I'd have gotten SOME sense of the genre by now).

So I'm trying to figure out... does this mean m/m is 'my' genre, and I should stop trying to fight destiny? It's easy to write, it sells, I enjoy it... am I someone with a gymnast's body insisting on trying to be a basketball player?

I know you guys can't really answer that for me, but I'm wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences, and whether anyone has noticed a correlation between 'easy' writing and producing work of quality. Is writing easy when we're in a groove and the words flow, or is it easy when we're not pushing ourselves and just churning out pap? Thoughts?

10-01-2012, 04:13 PM
Feeling your pain. I wouldn't say you shouldn't do it. It's always good to stretch and try new things. What is it that works well for you in M/M? Is it characterisation? Plot? Dialogue? Maybe you're approaching the YA from a direction that doesn't work to your strengths. This goes for anything, not just writing, but you should always use your strengths as the jumping off point, plan whatever it is around those, then make small forays into less comfortable territory. That way, you stretch your boundaries in those areas, while still maintaining a body of work that you are happy with. And the next time you can go a little further.

My guess is that you've gotten very comfortable with the expectations of the M/M genre and the YA is starting to feel a bit like a new pair of shoes. You might love them, and they might be all pretty and sparkly, but until you've worn them in, they're not going to be nearly as comfortable as your old ones.

Just my 2 cents...says the brazen kitty as she sighs and goes back to her ?/$"*($* action scene. (The part where they were in bed was so much easier to write)

10-01-2012, 07:32 PM
I don't think fast or slow has direct connection to quality, but I find that when I'm having too much trouble writing something, when I do slow way down, the problem is that I don't like the story.

Writing to editorial request often means writing things I wouldn't have written on my own, and sometimes, even when I think the idea is a good one, I know it isn't something I would have written at the time, that I'm not ready to write, that I have some problem with, etc. Such stories go much slower than ideas I really want to write.

For me, stories I like flow much better, I write them much, much faster, and they sell. Stories I don't like, stories I have serious problem with, take longer, they don't come out as well, and while they usually still sell, the enjoyment factor makes everything a heck of a lot easier.