Writing and Other Afflictions

"If it was easy, everyone would do it." –Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own"

That ol’ draft magic

First drafts are always tricky. Well, so are second and final drafts, but in different ways. In a first draft, you’re still discovering what the story is. It’s not uncommon for me to go back to the beginning of a first draft and think, “what the heck was I writing about there?” and ax a bunch of stuff. It’s also not uncommon for me to get stalled as the story just eddies about aimlessly. What I always have to keep reminding myself is to keep the boring parts as short as possible (preferably eliminating them altogether) and to wait for that part that reminds me why I started writing the story in the first place. It’s so nice to get back there, it’s like coming home after an exhausting day at work.

I’m certain that there will be a lot of things that get refined, rewritten, or streamlined in the second draft of this story, but the scene I’m in now likely isn’t one of them. It’s flowing well and it’s got me engaged in the story again. Good times. (Well, except for outside, where it’s the second day of the rainy season. But that means it’s nicer to curl up inside with the laptop and get some story done.)

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One response to “That ol’ draft magic

  1. Rikoshi October 12, 2006 at 9:03 am

    I’ve had a problem, lately, where when I’m writing a story, I try to see past these ‘eddies’ and all, but I don’t see the rest of the story on the other side. It’s actually caused me to abandon several short stories this year, because I end up being unable to learn (or re-learn) what I’d ever sat down to write about in the first place. It’s frustrating and discouraging, really.With the novel, at the very least, I at least got a clear sense of what I needed to take out and what needed to be added; maybe because it was a novel, it was somehow more ‘important’ and thus I was able to convince myself to put in that mental effort.I have a harder time doing that with short stories. As we were talking about the other day, it’s often harder to write things that aren’t as long.

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