Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Down & Dirty-- First draft that is.

I really enjoy dreaming up a new novel. Developing the pefect characters and finding just the right place for the call to action. Should I settle for some place I'm comfortable with, like my home state? Or maybe a southern state would be better. One thing's sure, there's a time and place for skirting around the issue and NOT producing. Yep. Everything from reseaching tedious tidbits that lend realism to your story, to unearthing delicious details-- what dishes were prepared, the styles or dress of the day? and so on. The list is endless. And can qickly zap your zest of story faster than a power outage.

Because when you're feeling the rush and excitiment of discovery, the first draft is NOT the time to stop and go searching for perfection. I know, I love a tidy first draft. Hoping there'll be less work during revision. But how much time am I really saving? If I'm continually putting on the brakes and leaving the story idling while I'm off on a run-about, digging up something that may or may not even make it into the manuscript! I'm daring myself to run out of steam! Or worse...give up on the story all together.

And unless it's another writer, no one has an inkling of what I'm referring to when I talk about how hard it is breathing life into our story folks. We'll mimic our characters beneath our breath, weedle or beg...anything if it gets them talking. And when they do, go with it! Because this is exactly what first drafts are about! Trust your instincts. Give yourself free rein to stumble around while you're trampling the path the story will follow. Who cares if it's pages and pages of rubbish? You can clean that later!

Don't waste time second guessing yourself. Revision is the place for adding detail. Right now it's just down & dirty.

Many sucessful authors know the benefit of free writing. In case you aren't familiar with Candance Havens let me say she's one very productive author. She hosts workshops aimed at turning off the internal editor and writing a book in two weeks! Seriously! Her online workshops are bursting with energy and jam-packed with great information and heavy doses of encouragment to complete your story in record time.

Fast Draft and Revision Hell

Beginning October 15, 2012.
In the new version of Fast Draft, Candy teaches you how to let go of that internal editor and let your creativity flow. She has exercises and advice that will help you get those words on the page faster than you ever imagined. The last two weeks of the class are devoted to Revision Hell. Candy will take you through revisions so you may polish your prose to perfection. The best part is you must be accountable to the class on a daily basis and Candy is there to cheer you on or kick your butt, whatever the case may be. Cost is $20.

Or, if you work better with a ticking timebomb, I suggest Dr. Wicked. (I always mistakenly call him Dr. Evil and if I do, you know I'm referring to Dr. Wicked.) It's actually a very cool website that allows you to set your writing goal(s)to a timer. For instance, a word count of 500 words. You would type that into your screen as your goal. Then as you're typing along if you linger too long in one place the screen will change colors until finally (I think) a bloody red. Some claim if you're still long enough your monitor will explode. But I wouldn't know because I've always met my goal.

Check Dr. Wicked out here. http://writeordie.com/

I plan to sharpen my pencil and get down & dirty.

Wish me luck!

22 comments:

  1. Candace's workshops are amazingly awesome, aren't they, Teresa? Good luck with your draft! I'm finished up edits from a fast draft now...

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  2. Congratulations on the finished draft! I actually love revision best, but I'm such a tinker that it really crippled my progress. Have fun!

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  3. Great article! Congratulations on finishing the draft!

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    1. Thanks, Kay! Glad you stopped by. : )

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  4. I had a really nice comment written and somehow I hit a wrong key and it disappeared. Man, I hate that! Anyhow, I wanted to say I do the first draft as fast as I can, too. I make a note of what I need to research with red ink and then move on. Great post, Teresa

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  5. Thank you, Carol! Glad you liked it and thanks for coming by. : )

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  6. I hit reply too soon. I was going to say that my first response got lost too because I hadn't signed in.

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  7. Good post, Teresa! I really have to remember to silence that inner editor in a first draft, especially when I show those pages to my critique group. But silence I must because it's just not worth polishing a rough draft when you may end up cutting scenes. It's really hard to cut pretty sentences.

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  8. You said it! I hate cutting those pretty sentences. The ones we labor over and thank goodness for critique groups. They can be ruthless! Thanks for coming by! Best wishes!

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  9. I completely agree. Just get it down the first time...and isn't it fun??!! Thank you for the lovely blog.
    R.T. Wolfe
    www.rtwolfe.com

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  10. Right on! The way it's meant to be. Fun! I'm so glad you stopped by. Best wishes in your drafts as well. : )

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  11. Turning off that darn internal editor is hard...but if I stop constantly to tidy up my writing, it takes me forever to finish a ms. I took Candance Haven's class..she's awesome!

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  12. Hi Christine~
    I have the worst time with that whispering little guy! But I think the more manuscripts I complete, the easier it gets. Always so nice to have you here and hope you're summer has been great. I'm looking forward to fall.
    Tere

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  13. Am so looking up Dr. Wicked now! Thanks. This time of year is sooo hard to stay motivated, thanks for sharing. I always feel better after reading everyone's blogs.

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    1. I love the Dr. and have used him alot to get motoviated. Yikes! It's great cruising the bloggerhood. So glad you came by!

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  14. Hi Rionna!
    I'm waiting for your comment to appear but it hasn't yet. Oh well, I saw it and totally agree. First drafts are tough but necessary. Thanks for comming by!
    Tere

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  15. Great post, Tere. First draft is my favorite part of the writing process. I can just write and not think about if it's could 'cause I'll just fix it later. Second draft is where I start banging my head against the desk. That Dr. Wicked sound great. Off to check it out.

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  16. I know, I've may have dented my head a time or two myself. First draft, yes! Love it! It's the best part other than reading a completed, heavily requested manuscript. : )

    Tere

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  17. Thanks for the website link. I'll have to check it out! And have lots of fun with your new story!!

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  18. Thanks Linda! Dr. Wicked really flips off that editor button because you don't have time to think anything other than if your pc will explode! Which is good for those of us who like to keep going back. : )

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  19. Thanks for the great suggestions, Tere. My first drafts are typically plot driven, and then I go back in the second and third iterations and add the emotion. Funny how I'm not thinking about what my heroine feels the first time around. I'm just trying to get her off the cliff...safely.

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  20. Exactly! Get her off the cliff safely then describe the motion sickness later. Perfect. : )
    I think that's why I love revision so much. I really get to know my characters better the second time around.
    It's so nice of you to stop by and comment, Susan! I enjoyed meeting you.

    Tere

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. You're awesome!