I write pretty fast when I’m in the flow of things. I can easily knock out several thousand words in a single sitting. I’m sure longer-term professionals can shame that with one hand behind their back, but that’s not really the point. The point is, when I take my time and study every angle of the story as it unfolds, carefully planning and plotting, I suck. I mean I stink on ice. I get too wrapped up in minor details and bullshit that may, or may not, ever matter.
On the upside, many of the books I’ve been reading lately have proven that I’m not alone in this respect. I’ve gotten to where I can easily recognize the plodding pace of a slowly written sentence. You can almost feel the amount of time and effort that’s gone into a single scene that no one will ever care about again. Sure, some things you have to take your time with. Some things are important, but I’m learning that one of the big tricks of a professional writer is knowing what you should bother caring about and what you shouldn’t.
When I’m in the groove, things just start to fly. The story whips past almost as fast as I can read the words, with new scenes and events just appearing on the page. This is great, it’s a perfect high, and I love the feeling.
The downside happens in editing. Those little details I didn’t bother with come back to kick me. Someone’s facing north with the sun on his left only happens in the last half of the day. Not first thing in the morning.
Still, for me, I’d rather edit a finished book than have to stare at the same page for three days wondering if I got it right.