In my recent zoom post I wrote about a new strategy for writing a novel that I think might help me and might help someone write faster and maybe even better, particularly if they happen to be a panser rather than a planner, a discovery writer rather than an outliner.
I suggested that you write a very quick draft, one that takes under a week and is 10000-15000 words long. I did this and had a draft of my novel, from beginning to end, in that time. In the past, I felt like I wasted a lot of time writing a longer first draft since often my discovery draft ended up being something I revised throughly anyway. My thinking was that if I wrote a first draft much faster maybe I would speed up my writing process without losing quality since, in my experience, most of the work of creating story came in later drafts, just as improvements in language and theme did.
Now I am working on the revision. I've spent slightly over a month and have increased my word count to about 45000 words. I am about half way through the second/third draft of the novel. However, I'm not just filling out what I had written with additional development. I've made several major changes to the plot as I've tried to develop and deepen the story.
So in that sense, I'm still feeling around in the dark a lot. However, in spite of this, I'm much farther along than I'd normally be because of the short time I spent on the first zoom draft. I don't feel like the road blocks and diversions are any more than on former novels. I had hoped that writing the draft so quickly might make me better at plotting; I don't feel that happened much. I still need a first draft to start working into the story. However, and this is key to how long the writing will take, I didn't spend several months on a first draft. I spent five days.
So far, I'm pleased wit this new strategy.