This concept was taught to me by my professor and author, Diane Les Becquets.
Writers come in two types: Diamond Polishers and Vomit Drafters.
Vomit Drafters are writers that will write an idea the instant it comes into their head. They’ll write and write; every stream of conscious thought and plot until they can’t any longer. And then that’s it. That’s their story. They’ll edit their work, but perhaps they won’t cut too much out. Maybe they’ll fix the mechanical errors. But otherwise, to them, this draft is gold.
Diamond Polishers are writers that will labor over every. single. word. They will spend hours on a single page, or a single sentence. It could take a Diamond Polisher months to produce a single piece because they have it so fine-tuned.
Now you might be thinking that these two categories are a harsh way to divide writers. And maybe you’re thinking about which category you fall into. Is there one inherently better than the other?
Simple answer: No.
Longer answer: Its complicated.
You see, there’s nothing wrong with either way. In fact, its important to continue doing what works best. We’re all individuals so what works for you might not work for another writer.
But there are things to keep in mind for both types.
A Vomit Drafter needs to keep in mind that they might write a lot. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the quantity is better than the quality. More words won’t make your story better. Vomit Drafters will need to edit down their work more thoroughly. They might need to refresh themselves on grammar and punctuation rules, or know when to kill their darlings.
A Diamond Polisher needs to keep in mind that while what they produce will already be finely tuned, their process might take longer. They might want to start working earlier than most on their piece. This will ensure them ample time to mull over the closing lines of their short story, or the beats leading up to the climax.
Which type of writer are you?