BIAW (Book in a Week)

Yup. You read that right. Book in a Week.

I took a workshop by that title about two years ago and it was one of the gems I refer to with each new project. The main gist of it is this – write. Yeah. That’s it. Write.

For a writer, that’s a powerful word because it means so many things. It means the obvious – write. But it also means – don’t look back, don’t judge, don’t worry. Write.

The fabulous Nora Roberts said something every writer should remember. She said, “You can’t edit a blank page.” The Queen of Book in a Week-dom, April Kihlstrom said something else every writer should remember. She said, “The first draft is for your eyes only.”

So what if it’s crap? If it is, refer to Ms. Roberts’ comment and be happy you have pages to edit.

I have the tendency to write a sentence, study it, disect it and revise before going on to the next sentence and starting the process again. I’m a slow writer because my inner editor is a bitch. Nothing is ever good enough and so I always go back over what’s been written and wonder if it can be written better. You know what? It can always be written better.

Enter Book in a Week.

What’s the point? To get the words – the story – down with the least amount of distraction. To keep the story moving forward – not just on the page, but in the writer’s mind. Once the events are down, in pretty prose or shorthand, and ‘The End’ is reached, THEN the writer can go back to page one and add layers and texture.

April Kihlstrom was gracious enough to agree to an interview on this blog. In it she helps ease some concerns over the BIAW process. Take a look at it here and see what she had to say.

The hardest part of BIAW, I think, is banishing that inner editor. Writing is fun. And since it’s a creative process, there is no ‘wrong’ way to do it, despite what the inner editor says. That’s why it’s vital to lock it away.

And so, next week will start the BIAW marathon for me. I will have a very rough draft of my entire story by this time next week. It’ll be my muse’s chance to play. And when playtime is over – and only when it’s over – I’ll release my inner editor from solitary and let her have at it.

I picture Lucy and Ricky, with my muse being Lucy – all playful and mischief-making, and my inner editor being Ricky – all gooey-eyed over his partner yet logically cleaning up much of her mess. They meld together beautifully but look how much fun they are independently.

Writing is fun. Keep it fun and the story will flow. It has to because there will be no doubt. No looking back or revising. Writing is play and I intend to play with my writing this week.

Muse and Editor? Kiss goodbye. You’ll meet again a week from today and not a moment sooner.

2 Responses to BIAW (Book in a Week)

  • Hey Debora, that inner editor (Ricky) can take over the writing spirit (Lucy)– what a perfect way to describe it! Nora writes with the seat-of-the-pants style and probably has the most fun because look at what she can turn out! Best wishes on your writing marathon. You will have much to work with, as you said.

  • Hi Kathleen! Oh, to be a spy in Nora’s office as she works! Wouldn’t that be a great experience? I’d love to see the joy and the angst she feels while creating… just to remind myself it’s all part of the process. My Ricky and Lucy are battling for control, but I’m doing my best to keep them in check. 🙂

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