Monday, July 25, 2011

First Drafts, Part II

I've been working on two first drafts for two different projects. It's funny, looking at this blog--I noticed that back in April I wrote a post about how much I love first drafts.


Not so much, this time around. I think that what's been stopping me up has been my inner editor, and boy, is she one mean, nasty shrew of a person. She doesn't let up, catching all of my echoes, horrible dialogue tags, and laughing at each and every cliche she finds, only to have me running in a corner and hiding.

I think I've found a way to chain her up. Well, three things. One, a new author friend I met told me that she likes to write late at night, because she finds that when she's a little sleepy, and the kids are in bed, that inner editor is not so cranky. This has been working fabulously! (so far). Secondly, with FINDING PONY, I discovered a way to write very quickly: when you have a scene in your head, just write free form, no capitalization or punctuation, fast, fast, fast, until you have that little sucker of a scene down. Later you can go back and puncuate, if need be. This has worked very well when I have dialogue in my head, and once I can get the characters talking, I can just record what they say. Lastly, is a technique I learned from reading Stephenie Meyer's blog one time: write your scenes out of order, if you want. This is very liberating. Sometimes when I'm going on with my day, and I get a brilliant idea for something that happens perhaps, not until act two or three, I'll just write the scene out of place and save it somewhere, until I need it.

What works for you guys?


amber said...

OK, you invoked the name of Stephenie Meyer whilst also asking for good writing tips -- and I feel like those are uber-mututally exclusive! :)

... Though the idea of writing stories out of order is great. I do that A LOT. I have an entire sequel that I've storyboarded and written completely out of order -- just a 30-page word doc with various scenes laid out chronologically but not nearly ready to be peiced into the actual story/chapter document yet.

Sometimes, your head is in a different place, so honor it. Transcribe the muse.

SM famously started at the meadow scene, wrote until the end and then started at the beginning until all the pieces met up. I think you can write better than this :)

kara said...

Amber, you are hilarious!

I like to storyboard too. Sometimes I think that those out of place scenes come from a more raw, emotional place--and when you can fit them in, they add to the story in a really powerful way.

...Have you been working on your YA historical? I want to read that one! :)

Lora R. Rivera said...

Omg you guys, you are both pros at this writing out of order thing, sounds like. I've been *struggling* with my WIP. Kara, your inner editing and mine must be twins or something. I can't seem to free write OR write scenes out of order.

... Maybe a huge girly pink swirly cosmo first.... Arg! :0