Tag Archives: first draft

The Pause

24 Apr

You tear up as you write the final sentence and then you jump out of your chair to do a happy dance. All those anti-social days, the times you forgot to drink water and to go to bed are worth it. You’ve finally finished your first draft. Your story is ready to simmer before the re-reading starts, followed by the editing. Such a feeling of relief because all your hard work has produced something that you’re happy with. (Or maybe not, it depends on how good you are at first drafts.)

This means, though, that you’ve entered the stage called The Pause. This is the part where you leave your novel alone for about 2-4 weeks before looking at it with fresh eyes (depending on your patience). The day that you finish the draft is indeed a celebration, but for me, the days after that are tricky. I mean, what’s a writer supposed to do without characters to play with? My mind and heart are still in the world of my last WIP and my mind is still working on it in the background. I therefore find it hard to open the door to a new novel. Still, how could I possibly go without writing for even more than a few days? I feel empty and bored without the possibility of spending time with fictional characters. And so, besides from sleep (or a coma), my only resolution is working on short stories and writing prompts. Also, it can help to work on a new idea for a novel even if your head isn’t ready, because by the time that you are you will at least have something. Even if it is crap.

So, if you’re in the same paper boat as I am…Jump aboard for some short story fun so we can keep on sailing over our creative juices and enjoy purple dolphins and birds made out of Skittles.

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First Draft Shenanigans

7 Jul

Commas, exclamation marks, full stops, synonyms, homonyms…our lives are dipped in all of these things, because we are writers. And things get tough sometimes. Not only do you have to pay attention to the big plot thingies that are important—and yes, that is the technical term—you also have to pay attention to the micro details. You can rewrite a sentence five times and still not be satisfied. It all depends on what you’re satisfied with. There are so many directions you can go in.

And that is also the problem with a story on a bigger scale. When you wing it, as I do, you go with the flow and I find that works best for me. But when you stop and think about it, there are so many ways you can go. Especially when you’re revising. You think, what else could I add (or take away) or should I write this instead? And it is ALL possible. That is what makes writing a very insecure profession, that and because all writing is personal. You can give two people the same story and characters and it won’t be the same at all.

Somewhere along the way you have to learn to have a little faith in yourself and keep an open mind at the same time. Listen to your (beta) readers, but also your inner reader. You write the kind of story you want to read, after all. So be a strict reader and think what you’d like to see differently, if anything at all when the time comes. But the most important thing to remember during the first draft, is to JUST WRITE! The first draft is your blueprint and it’s easier to see what you could/should change once you have that. So don’t worry about it for now and keep filling those awaiting pages. Fill them with inky words that are part of your soul and only switch on your brain during revision time. But revision time is for another blog post. Until then… keep your imaginary friends close, and your Writing Spirit closer. 

 

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