Writing is not a competitive sport, though they do give points for style.
I write novels fast because that’s how I have to do it. I’m not showing off or being naff. In fact, I agonized considerably before posting my daily numbers on Trial of Flowers last spring. Everybody more or less yawned, so I decided it wasn’t a bad thing. Posting the numbers also gave me a sense of public accountability. (“Look! Live! Without a net!”) More to the point, I noodle around with the idea — those ‘novel bubbles’ I’ve mentioned before having in my head — until I’m ready to jump in. Then things go more or less according to the jet plane theory, my riff comparing the sustained speeds of airliners and writers. Except I have a tendency to land real, real fast at the end of the trip.
So, for example, around the first 10,000 or 15,000 words of Madness, I was seriously worried that I wouldn’t make length (140,000) because it felt like the plot was advancing too fast. The discerning reader will note that I overshot length by over 50,000 words. This is not a Good Thing, btw, though my current hypothesis is that cutting down is a better idea than padding up. Ask me next spring about that one. Then I hit cruising speed, went into 2,000+ words per hour mode, and ripped through the rest of the book, my available time permitting.
But like I said, I don’t write that fast because I’m being competitive or showing off. I write that fast because I want to get the damned story out of my head before it gets away from me. This is the downside of my concept of “span of control.” Holding a nearly 200K word novel in your head is quite an experience. It tends to run out of your ears. And I wanted it to get done before WorldCon especially, because that six-day break would have affected continuity of voice, plot and character in ways I didn’t want to cope with. (There were other issues too, like the need to approach Stemwinder with a clear head.)
So, hence the fast writing. It’s the only way I know how to do it — the manic mode of my ADHD like behaviors.
As I’ve mentioned before, repeatedly, I also think fast writing is a virtue. (Or can be, for many if not most of us.) It releases the inner voice and shuts down the inner self-critic, which makes for far more interesting, readable fiction. In my case, since slowing down doesn’t seem to be much of an option, I’ve had to learn to deal with craft issues either by getting it right the first time (which I do a decent job of, Ghu only knows why) or handling it on rewrite/edit (which I’m only starting to be any good at).
More later on my sense of my own process changes.
So the important thing