"A unique tale by a fresh voice in horror."
-Tracey Fleming "The Written Universe"

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Friday, September 2, 2011

1st Draft, 2nd Draft, 3rd Draft, 4th Draft

My first draft is just a mess. Pretty much a big mess. I treat it like a sculptor, in that it's a deformed lump of clay (it kinda sorta looks like a person). I just need something to work with first. That starting draft is all right brain work, just an explosion of creativity. I keep my hands moving. Ideas, ideas, just let the ideas come. Let the right brain do what it does best -- imagine. Writing, for me, gets hard when I try to fix things as I write. I hate that whole stop-and-go feeling. I just wanna run wild, run free. Many mistakes when I write like that, and the whole time, my left brain is begging me to stop to fix that typo. But I resist. This 1st draft is the right brain's time to play. Just keep writing. You don't have to fix anything. This isn't Math, and no one is holding a gun to your head. This is fiction. Creative writing.

The 2nd draft is when I let the left brain be boss, fixing story lines, really just a lot of deleting, shaping the story into something fun and interesting.

3rd draft is for typos. You can't trust that automatic spell check option in your word processor. Yea, it'll pick up on a misspelled word, but it doesn't say if you accidentally used the wrong word. So you pretty much have to start from page one -- read through it with a fine tooth comb.

4th draft is when I send it out to my friends in search of typos. They write what they've found on a separate document, they send it to me, and I fix, fix, fix.

And right before I convert my file into a PDF (for Amazon), I read through it one more time...just to be on the safe side.

Typos are a real pain. Just do your best to correct them!

In the end, I always end up with my finished sculpture being a nice-looking lady.

And then I break the arms off, because it looks more interesting that way.


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great system! I try to work in a similar way. I agree 100% that the first draft has to be something you write without worrying too much about fixing things as you go. The temptation to fix is often there, but it's best to fight it if you can. That part can come later on.