The First Draft

Posted on Posted in Starting a New Story, The Writing Life

My combination ‘essential to my life’- microwave/grill/convection oven fizzed and smoked and gave up the ghost yesterday lunch and I had to waste hours on the internet and trawling around the shops looking for a replacement.

Sigh. Mr Nina is picking it up tonight after work. 

Billie Mernit at ‘Living the Romantic Comedy’ has an excellent post at the moment re the horrors of the First Draft.

Billie is a professional reader of Screenplays and lecturer and author of ‘Writing the Romantic Comedy’ and is a published author.

 He knows of what he speaks and his posts are always useful and informative.

I ADORE movies and screenplay story structure has taught me a huge amount about the craft of creating – hopefully- compelling fiction. Which is why his post is so apt at this stage in my new book for Mills and Boon when I are struggling to sculpt this huge block of marble into something which resembles a fiction book – using a rusty bent spoon.

Scary or what???

A couple of key take-aways?

*”you have to have the courage to write badly, to write it awful, to get it wrong, wrong, wrong.  You need the courage to write a really shitty draft, the sooner, the faster the better”

* “If you truly, sincerely, consciously embrace the premise that your first draft will suck, just think how liberating it will be.  You won’t have to compare it to all those paradigms of good writing you’ve studied, you won’t have to worry about what anyone will think of it, you won’t have to beat yourself up for any of your multitudinous easily available beat-yourself-up options.  Because it sucks!  It’s supposed to.  That’s its job.”

So. With that in mind – on with the really sucky first draft!

Plus a dab of inspiration to help me along the way –

Tomorrow I am off north early morning to attend my niece’s wedding, so I would be grateful for any spare fingers to be crossed for good weather. There is a feathery fascinator involved and Mr Nina has threatened photos.

5 thoughts on “The First Draft

  1. Thanks ladies. I do know what you mean Nell, and I think my method is somewhere between the two – a solid outline but I know that I will have to revise because of the new material that emerges out of the writing, if that makes any sense. So lots of polishing at the end.
    Best of luck Debs.

  2. Love Jim Morrison. Thanks for that gorgeous pic of RA too. Great inspiration.

    I’m about to start a first draft of a book too, and am prepared for it to be complete drivel, although I would be nice for it to be fabulous of course.

    Have a great time at the wedding.x

  3. Have fun! I wish I could write a crap first draft but I just can’t. I have to get it down as it needs to go first go around – at least the bones of it. It’s why I spend so much thinking time on new stories right at the start and at the end polishing.

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