On Retellings And Writing Quickly

open notebook

Is writing fast, that is to say completing a piece of writing within an hour window, necessarily a bad thing?I’m celebrating again this week, as a piece I completed back in November has been accepted for publication by Kind of a Hurricane Press, in their forthcoming anthology Twice Upon a Time.

The piece, entitled ‘What Expensive Teeth You Have’, began life as a re-imagining of the traditional tale of Little Red Riding Hood. In my version of the story, the young Red Riding Hood is a teenager, and a moody one at that.

I wasn’t aware until I was writing it of how well the story of Red Riding Hood had implanted itself in my subconscious. I don’t remember the first time I came across it, but I did remember the basic elements of it. This was sufficient, I felt, to allow me carte blanche to do what I wished with this story.

Writing it was a ball, and it didn’t take very long. Up to this point, I’d been of the opinion that those projects we labour over for some time are always the best. This latest acceptance really challenges that point of view.

I’m not saying that everything I’ve written within a short window of time has been gold. Equally, I’ve probably produced just as much rubbish as anybody else who’s ever held a pen.

It shouldn’t be, but as writers, validation is very important and difficult to come by. It’s a great boost when something like this happens. Gives me faith that I can write quickly, and probably write well as well – the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

I’m really interested to know about your experiences of writing quickly and writing to order. Has the work you’ve produced been up to your usual standard, or has it even exceeded it? Let’s talk in the comments. 


2 comments on “On Retellings And Writing Quickly

  1. Exploding Mary says:

    Overall, I think writing quickly is a good idea. You get things fresh, you mow down the obstacles with your intense focus– editing later is always an option, if needed. Daily quick writing, I have found, is a great way to train yourself into better working habits & better work.


    • ‘mow down the obstacles with intense focus’ – how I love that thought! Glad to hear from another quick writing practitioner. Hope all’s well with you and yours.

      Take care,



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