Stacy...Sensibly Insane

I have my own little world, but it's okay - they know me here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It's NOT Crap.

I might get a slam or two in the comments for this but there has been a few things on other people's blogs and a number of articles etc that I just have to take a moment to disagree with. In the beginning I agreed then yesterday, you know what, I thought, no, this is all wrong.

1st Drafts

Articles and a number of authors and industry people tell you, "Don't worry, your first draft is gonna be crap so just get it down on paper then you can move on to revising it to make it better etc etc etc". To me, this is all wrong.

Now, I'm not saying you can spit it out and send it in as is, heck no. But seriously, how do you feel knowing something you write is crap? Does this make you feel good? Confident? Ready to get back to your wip above anything else? Motivate you to keep writing? NO it doesn't. It sure makes me feel inferior, depressed, and unmotivated thinking if I write crap, why bother, no one is going to read it.

The problem is, we all feel like this anyway as we write because of our own insecurties and fears so we really don't need anyone else pushing those buttons. We take care of it ourselves very well thank you.

I had a hard time getting back into my wip yesterday because once I got past my usual it-doesn't-have-to-be-perfect-the-first-time syndrome then I was thinking “well, the first draft is crap anyway so just write” Oh yeah, there’s two great motivational mantras for aren’t perfect and you write crap.... you aren’t perfect and you write crap.... you aren’t perfect and you write crap. Is it any wonder I barely got 1000 words done yesterday.

Do you see what I’m talking about yet? Yes, I know I’m not perfect and I know I don’t write like the NY Times best sellers but right now I am my only cheering squad and if I tell myself I suck then what else do I have to believe.

My point is. Your first draft may not be readable, sellable or even understandable. But I bet if you read it over with a different eye/a different mind set, you WILL be able to pick out some good things, things you can build on or use. Maybe it is only one sentence that you laugh at or one small scene that really hit the mark on what you wanted the emotion to be. Maybe it is only a line every five pages or one scene out of every ten but something when you read it that gives you that tingly, excited jolt and makes you say, “Hey, that’s good, I really like that.”

Take that puppy and run with it!! Feed off the power of that one line or one scene in your mind while you write telling yourself that yes, I can do this and I know when I go through it again I’ll have major revisions but that will only make it better! Those revisions are what will bring my story together.

So please, in defense of the poor first draft, don’t think of it as crap, think of it as a base. A base of ideas, one liners, a few awesome descriptions, and a good scene or two that will hold YOU up to continue writing. A foundation to build upon, to grow slowly but surely into the story you want to tell, in the way you want to tell it. I hear a lot how the first draft is never the same as the final version but I bet there is something there that stayed from the beginning, a few bricks....a line...a scene...a piece of dialogue that they built upon to get that ms done and out to a publisher.

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Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 7:53 AM :: 19 comments

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