I Wrote Ten Short Stories in Four Days…

Right here, talking about the process every day. And not a soul made a comment about how long it was going to take me to rewrite them, or polish them, or some snide comment about how they must not be any good.

Not a one.

It seems those types of writers stay away from here. Don’t blame them, honestly. It has to be painful to come here where people are having fun with their writing, doing one clean draft, and making money and and finding readers.

Gad-zooks! It must be evil.

Nope, not evil and not even a secret. It is called cycling.

Cycling is not rewriting. I get comments from people who say they finish something, wait a few days and then cycle back through it. Nope. That’s rewriting, not cycling.


Cycling is done in creative voice, while you are in the creative process.

The process works like this: You go along for a distance (varies from writer to writer, but averages in the 400 to 600 word length), then lift up out of the timeline of the story, drift back a ways, drop down in, and run through the story again, adding, fixing, making it clean copy.

Then you hit the spot you stopped and you have momentum and you write the next sentence and repeat until you have your next cycle.

When you get to the end of the story or book, it is clean and done. And you and your creative voice move on.

But That Has to Be Slower…

Not when you count a rewrite draft or drafts, cycling is far, far faster. I produce clean one-time-through copy at the rate of about 1,100 words per hour. Sure, if I wanted to type faster, I suppose I could try to write sloppy crap. But why would I? I would have to fix it in critical voice and even though I know more about writing than anyone reading this, I suck at rewriting.

Now I have come to loath the stupidity of Nanowrimo and their constant pushing of writers to write sloppy. That way is death, 99% of the slop written during nanowrimo is never rewritten. I just flat don’t understand why they do it, to be honest.

Story-telling is not just typing.  And it certainly isn’t rewriting.

Telling a great story comes from the creative side. Stay in creative voice and never let your critical voice near your work. And to do that, cycle as you write, finish what you write, and get it out to readers without touching it.

You watched me do it for ten stories in four days and at some point you will be able to read those ten stories just as I wrote them, without rewriting. Because life is too short for me to ever turn backwards and look at one of my already written stories. And I have too many new stories to tell.

So anyway, this little Friday night rant was brought to you by the folks lately who have started to call rewriting cycling. Remember, if you go back over something while writing it, that is called cycling.

If you wait days until your creative voice has fled the scene before going back over a story, that is called rewriting. And rewriting is a complete waste of time and often destroys your own work. Or at best, dumbs it down.

And that kind of rewriting is actual work and is no fun.

Ughh. Just the thought of having to rewrite or polish something gives me the shivers so bad, I almost can’t type.

(Now, check in with yourself, honestly. Are you making excuses why you must, repeat must rewrite? Then ask yourself where you learned that myth.)