Waffle or bones?

When I push myself to write quickly, I tend to waffle. It’s as though I throw anything onto the page in the hope that out of the chaos will emerge the odd little gem that can be extracted and polished.

This means that on a subsequent much-needed editing/revision pass, I invariably lose a heap of words (the waffle) although others get inserted to add texture, setting, etc. On the whole, though, it gets shorter after editing.

Other writers I know experience the opposite. Their splurted rough draft contains the bare bones of story, requiring them to come through again and flesh it out. (In fact, I know some writers who invariably add words whenever they edit, whereas I tend to always slash and burn.)

I imagine the latter experience must be far more satisfying when in a wordcount-oriented writing challenge. In my case, I know the 1000 words I just produced will probably end up as 800 good words, after considerable extra effort. Whereas those in the other camp probably find their 1000 words grows into 1500-2000 once they’ve fleshed it out.

Anyone care to share their experience of this, either way? I’m interested.

One comment

  1. My word count always goes up after an edit. I do cut big chunks out, but I usually expand on everything else. I’m certainly a ‘blurt it out’ writer. I try to get my first draft done as quickly as humanly possible (and they read like that too).

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