Sunday, February 21, 2010

First Drafting Is Not For Wusses

Guess what I’m doing right now? That’s right, first drafting. WoW has taken a back seat (poor thing!) for the moment. I did play a few hours this weekend. *grin* So all is not lost.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about first drafts. As much as I whine about editing… that’s the easy part. God! I know, right? That’s crazy talk.

The truth is, for me it’s easier to polish something than to create it from scratch. My first (and sometimes second and third) drafts are plagued by doubt. It’s a lot of: Does that go there??? Oh, what about this??? What if… NO! THAT WON’T WORK! Arg! The ending! The ENDING! Why can I never nail the ending?!

I guess it would be surprising if you asked me which part I enjoy more. First drafting ALL THE WAY. No matter how difficult it is. Editing is like eating steak with a spork. It’s tedious, time consuming and annoying. First drafting (for as much as I get frustrated) is so much fun.

You cannot hope to achieve perfection with a first draft. It’s impossible. I don’t care who you are. I think that the great majority of writers who don’t finish that first draft suffer from perfection-itis.

That’s a real disease. I suffer from it. It drives me bananas if something doesn’t work the first time through.

It’s taken me years to be able to say: It doesn’t matter. Just finish. The dialog doesn’t flow? So. Finish. The characters are schizo? So. We’ll get them some meds on the second draft. Finish. The plot has so many holes it can sink a ship? It can be fixed. Finish.

And you know what? I have to tell myself that mantra every single day. Somehow between the time I go to sleep and the time I wake up, I forget.

I repeat to myself once again: The possibilities are endless! Grab hold of them. They don’t need to be perfect. They just need to be there.


  1. Yeah. Me and the spork aren't getting along too well right now. Love that analogy!

    Have fun with your new draft!

  2. Love the steak with a spork analogy. So true! The steak is a little rubbery for me, too:)

  3. Hey, I'd never realized giving my characters meds was an option! I like that. You're gonna beat this first draft thing into my head soon. Either that or I'll have a concussion.



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