I want to thank my lovely friend Carol for giving me the opportunity to guest-post on this fabulous blog.
Something that has been on my mind lately as I’ve been writing my historical young-adult novel is not restricting my first draft. The first draft is the time to throw everything at the page even if it’s total cheeseball because my writing tends to swing in that direction—I’m writing romance, you know how cheesy writing romance can get.
Oftentimes when I write the first draft of a scene, I delete about half of it in dismay. It’s not working! Wow, that line sucked! That dialogue was ridiculous. I should quit now because this story will never become what it is in my mind.
I know you do this too. We all do this. The solution is simple: stop it. Never restrain the first draft. Put the editor to rest and the creator to work.
I’ve been trying this new approach to first draft writing and it is the most freeing feeling. It’s like not wearing your bra all day long even when you’re out in public. Give your first draft all the cheesiness it can handle and bombard it with the goods. Restraint comes with revision.
Annie Dillard, who is one of the best writers of all time, says it best: “One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better.”
Give the first draft anything and everything; give it all that you are.
Thank you, Miss Victoria. Even her name is the name of a romance writer, huh?
All right–just checking in with you all.
How’s the writing going? Are you getting to your goals?
I just finished one book that needed a final look-see.
Now I have another book to do a strong rewrite on. This always takes me longer than I think it will. Today I have to work like crazy because I told my agent I’d be done this week.
That means I haven’t had a chance to write any of my One-Legged Rooster book. Boo!
That book is nearing completion and I am anxious to finish a first draft.
I love my job.
What about the rest of you? What’s going on with your goals?
How did you do?
Did writing go well? Was it harder than you expected? Easier this week?
Let us know and have a happy writing weekend.
By the way, I have several friends who check in with me and tell me how they did with their writing. I share my goals with them, too. This is a nice way to be accountable. Please feel free to use this site as the place where you talk about your successes–whatever they are (they don’t have to be only writing) and failures. Knowing you should report will make you write more and sharing may help you through a difficult part of your story.