the mutt

Draftus Interruptus

Posted in General, Oddities, Writing by grx20 on November 6, 2008

The first draft is a pain. And I’m not talking about the approaching winter.

A small ramble about a part of writing that’s been very difficult the past month.crump

I wrote two short stories the past week. The first draft for the first one was written in very short bursts. I didn’t have quiet or uninterrupted time. I’m surprised I actually managed to get it down at all. Two lines. Interruption. Five lines. Interruption. One paragraph. Interruption. And so on.

Later, I typed it out on the comp, edited, rewrote as I went along and sent it off to a couple of friends for their thoughts. The story actually turned out quite well and I got good feedback too. When I was writing the first draft, a couple of thoughts kept running at the back of my mind – this isn’t working out fine, too many interruptions, just stop writing. It was terribly hard getting it down. Terribly hard. But the story came out all right.

The second story. The first draft wasn’t difficult. It was plain boring. To be sure, I like the idea of the story a lot and think it makes for a really good story. But as I was writing it, the only thought on my mind was to be done with it as soon as possible. I just didn’t want to look at my notebook anymore. I liked the story, most parts of what I wrote and the end. But I was bored out of my socks, writing it. The rewritten and edited version is working well. I like it.

But I’m trying to figure out, why is the first draft becoming so difficult? It was supposed to be fun. Exciting, even, as the story unfolds. I’ve had times when the story changes tracks completely, because that was the right way to go – the track I had intended was all wrong. Other times the end has just fallen into place when I was still halfway through.

Some first drafts are easy. Some aren’t. And as I’ve found, I can’t judge a story by that.

P.S. (This post was a first draft).

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One Response

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  1. Jo-Naathan said, on November 7, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    This is a good post. But why do you think of it as a first draft as opposed or second draft? Why are you holding yourself to the a standard process? Instead, as you write, consider the “first draft” to be part of the writing process and it might not seem tedious. Admittedly, you are not on the first-write-is-the-final-write caliber, and so you come back, tweak, completely redo and so on. So the first draft is nothing more than starting out a new project. Think of it as the first chips of the rock that you remove and as you continue to remove more and more, and the size of the chips get smaller, the sculpture underneath begins to emerge.

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