Quantity or Quality
The other day, I was having a conversation with my writing partner about our progress. We both have full time jobs and families. As a result, our writing goals sometimes take a back burner to daily responsibilities. She asked me how the story I was writing for NaNoWriMo was coming along. This is supposed to be one of the great things about telling people you’re writing a novel in the month of November, culpability. You want to be able to say you’ve made progress and are moving along towards that 50,000 word goal. Sadly, that is not the case for me this year.
Then I asked her how her writing was progressing. Her statement stuck with me. “I wrote one really great sentence today!”
That was it. That’s all she wrote-“one really great sentence”. No more would come out of her.
It got me to thinking. Sometimes I sit down and write hundreds or thousands of words in a day, only to delete every single one of them in my editing process. Yet here she put everything into “one really great sentence” that can become the cornerstone of her story.
So, which is the most productive writing session- hundreds or thousands of words or “one really great sentence”?
I think they both are productive in their own ways. The words I delete or edit have to come out of me to get to the story beyond them. Among those words are gems that may lead to much greater things along the process.
As for that “one really great sentence”, that’s something every writer needs to produce at one time or another to keep them motivated and engaged in their writing. It could be the spring board for some more greatness down the line.
Have you ever had the experience of writing “one really great sentence”? How did that affect the rest of your story?