When I picture how I want the book to be before writing it, I'll usually get myself a nice firm grasp of the story and characters in outlines/lists so that I feel ready to bust it out. But then I'll actually start writing it and soon get all confuzzled as to why on earth it's not pouring out of my brain and on to the page with effortless stride.
At first, I was really confused as to why it could possibly take so long to bust out a first draft when I had a bright and shiny outline to lead the way. Then I thought duh, we all know that besides the structure of the story, the other key element is the perfect voice.
But who knew that finding it could sometimes take tens of thousands of words?!
In the past, that very problem had a huge impact on my writing speed. Since I was struggling to get a grip on the voice, I'd recognize when it changed and felt obligated to edit as I went.
So, how long would this usually take me?
Everyone has their own writing style for sure, and some people will always be edit-as-they-goers, but in my case I was forced to re-evaluate my process because it wasn't as efficient as I wanted.
I came to the conclusion that it's okay if the first draft has different voices throughout, because:
A) First drafts always suck, it's a reality, and no matter how hard we'd like to dance around that little fact it's next to impossible.
B) Since first drafts always suck, there will be
So, I guess that's my most recent 'aha!' moment as far as writing goes. I was seriously stuck on a scene in my WIP and went without writing for days, which is totally not conducive to being all like LET'S FINISH THIS BISH ASAP! Once I realized that I was stuck because I simply was not yet comfortable with the voice, forcing myself to go on became easier.
So go ahead. Play around with the voices until they're so different you can hardly stand to read through that sucker when it's finished.
That's the glorious beauty of first drafts.