My first drafts always start out like wildfire. I usually have a lot of scenes from the beginning of a story. I almost always know how the story will end. Then depending on how long a story is, I know many scenes in between.
Filling in the spaces between those scenes can be hard but also the most fun because those are the places where the story often takes off on its own. If I can stay out of my own way and just follow where it takes me, I get to discover the story much like the reader does when the story is done.
If I try to force a story to go in a certain direction I’ve discovered that it usually comes to a screeching halt. Then the words come out flat, the characters become stiff and the story gets boring.
Sometimes I just have to pretend that I’m a kid playing make-believe and let my imagination go crazy. I try to get into the mindset that I used to fall into so easily as a kid. I remember when I was in elementary school being able to play for hours using nothing more than a couple of toys and my imagination. Entire worlds, characters and events happened in those hours, effortlessly.
I think as adults we get stuck in our own censorship. We constantly stop and think about whether what we are writing is believable or well-written. If we can ignore those thoughts while pouring out that first draft, then we can always go back and fix things later. That’s what revision is for.
Most of the time, when we just ‘go with the flow’ as they say, in the end, there is very little that needs to be fixed.
Do you like writing first drafts? Do you find it easy or difficult? What do you do to keep it going?
- First drafts: allowing the worm to navigate the soils of your mind (thesenseofajourney.com)
- Beyond the Dark and Stormy Night- Developing a Plot (english.answers.com)