Thursday, August 20, 2009

Over Stuff or Under Inflate

I have a conundrum.

Since I've finished my current project, at least for the time being, I've started working on a couple of new projects.

WIP A: Is the second book to my current project (so far 15,000 words)

WIP B: Completely new book with new characters and plot (so far 5,000 words)

Sometimes the words flow like melted butter on popcorn. yesterday I wrote 2000 words in an hour. Other days I feel like I'm just throwing words on the page and hoping that later on I'll be able to put them together.

Having not written a first draft in a while, I think I've created a habit, which I'm not sure is a good one or a bad one. I'm finding I use a lot of brackets as I write. Things like (add description here), (expand more), (research this), and (check details).

For WIP A I think I have too much going on; too many plots and sub-plots. I’m finding it hard to balance it all. I'm not sure what to keep and what to get rid of.

For WIP B I have a better handle on which direction I want it to go. I'm not using as many brackets.

So here’s my question: Is it better to put in as much as you can on your first draft and cut later or write the bare minimum and add.

What do you think?


Lazy Writer said...

Putting more in at first and cutting later works best for me. I think it's harder to add more at the end. But that's just me.

Brit said...

I agree with Lazy, putting more in and taking it away later. I'm at a point now with my WIP where I have to go back and add. It is harder than I thought.

Patti said...

Susan: That's kind of where I started. I thought I'll add everything I think I might want the book to have.

Brit: Are you adding plot points or detail?

JKB said...

hm. I'd say, put in what you know, and make a note for later. At least that's how I've rolled the last three books, and it's not hurt me yet.

Do what *you* think is right. That way, you'll be assured of finishing it and being happy with yourself. And that is important, too!

Jessie Oliveros said...

So far I've done both. I am not sure. I think that when you write, write, write, and cut later, you have a lot more to work with and yet you are attached and it's harder to cut. With the skeleton first, then flesh-out method, you can always be building new ideas, but maybe some ideas were lost in the first place. Good question.

Patti said...

JKB: I've been doing that with project A, like I said lots of brackets.

Jessie: I agree, just write and get the concept down and then you can figure it out later.

jenniferneri said...

I write a lot more than stays, but I also need to add a lot of things later. Usually stuff that requires research and will stop me if I try to write about it.

Sounds like you need to wrestle with the direction of A more. Is it flowing for that one more?

Patti said...

Jennifer: I'm definitely having more problems with project A.

Jenna Alexander said...

I tend to put in too much. I just kind of let the words flow and not worry about trimming until later.

For me adding is tough. I had to increase a piece by about 900 words once - to get it past 5000 for submission guidelines - wow, that was tough!