Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Papa Dom is Smiling Down at You, Curly Jones

My two year old's new favorite line is "Don't worry about it."  Or rather, with the inflection of an old Italian man, "Don't worrrrrrry bout it."  (Imagine pudgy little fingers pursed in the air, just daring you to worry bout it).  As in, at dinner time - "It's a noodle. Don't worrrrrry bout it."  Or "I took my pants off.  Don't worrrrrry bout it."  When you're not trying to get her out the door in the morning ("I don't want my hat on.  Don't worrrrry bout it."), it's pretty funny. :)

I'm going about my writing with much the same carefree attitude.  Well, wait.  I should amend that, since I am probably too Type A for that to be true.  Let's just say that this time, I am letting my first draft actually be a first draft, without fine-toothed-combing every darn sentence in an effort toward literary Mecca.  Because I never get to Mecca, I'm the guy who gets trampled in the stampede, and nobody likes being that guy.

Many times before, I just wrote myself right out of steam.  I perfected the first chapter so much that I didn't feel like writing the rest of the darn book.  And I knew I should be saving that crazitude for revisions, but I just wasn't cool with letting go and fixing it later.

I can't say that I've had any stunning revelation about writing or revision that has changed my ways, but if you've read any of my other posts, you know that my New Year's Resolution (which I never usually make) was to get serious, work on it, have fun, no pressure, if it's collapsing, back off and rework.  My entire approach has been different (I started in the middle), and this time, for whatever reason, I am actually writing a first drafty first draft.  I'm thinking things like, "I'm not sure if I like that line," and shrugging, and writing on.  I know I'll come back to it in Round 2, Me vs. First Draft.  And the joy of writing has been like reuniting with an old flame. (If I weren't married.  And had an old flame I actually... ok, nevermind.)

So tell me about your first drafts.  Have you always been able to just.... go? 

8 comments:

Erin Kuhns said...

The only way I made it through an entire first draft without obsessively editing, rewriting and getting caught on the same sentence for days, was by signing up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Having that challenge kept me going forward and allowed me to really accept that I was writing complete $%&@! much of the time, but I actually got an entire book out...something I think would have been a much longer time coming if I hadn't had the pressure of NaNo.

Now, that said, I'm currently working on the rewrite and I'm definitely stuck and having to kickstart myself every day to move further along and not get caught up on things. My story isn't solid enough yet to warrant spending oodles of time on one particular place.

Kimberly Franklin said...

I struggle with the same problem you do. I try to just let my first draft be a first draft, but I end up editing every single word and I just get burned out and stuck in an endless loop of editing the same thing over and over and over...

I'm not sure how to break this, but I will continue to try. I know it won't be easy though. : )

Good luck to you!

storyqueen said...

If i write the first draft by hand, in pencil, I am much more free and have much more fun.

Shelley

Ps thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Kristi Faith said...

Nope, I have to constantly remind myself "FIX IT LATER" :0) Nano was a great exercise in delete button take away-itis. I write first drafts much faster now, but still set aside a day to go back over what I've written to ease my mind.

Jemi Fraser said...

I can pretty much do a straight-through first draft, but I do tinker a bit as I go. If it's going to take me longer, I'll sometimes just underline the section I need to look at later.

Dangerous With a Pen said...

It's funny you said that, Shelley - I was recently just writing in pen on a gym floor and loving it. Something about actually pressing it to paper... Hence the name of my blog :)

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Erin - I have joined NaNo twice... and failed miserably. :P :) November is a really busy crazy month at work, plus we host Thanksgiving every year.

I'll keep at it...

purpleunicorns26 said...

Thanks for the shout-out to my dad!