Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Working through the kinks.

Writing is one of those things where words can be flying onto the page one minute and turn bone dry the next. I've been working on a manuscript for about a year. The first draft mind you. I'm not super proud of that time line but it's something I'm trying to figure out. I was super passionate about the project when I started. I did get feed back early on, which may have slowed my process and hindered the flow. I put it aside for many months, hoping that I would get those fuzzy feels for it again. It took a while and now there are some tingles in my belly for it. I am struggling though. I think I'm overthinking things as I always do.

It's the first draft fright. I'm a reviser. It's what I like to do. First drafts scare me. It could be the perfectionist in me, but I like revising. First drafts are messy and disorganized. You would think I would be an outliner, but no, total panster. This might make you think I would love first drafts. I don't. So how do you survive them? I don't think there is a straight answer. This is my fifth novel and I still squirm when I open a blank page. I listen to the voice and plug along, but then that scene comes where you have no idea how to connect it to the ending. Did I mention I write out of order? Yep, guilty.

Right now, I'm at that point. I have 43,000 words. The beginning, most of the middle, and the end are written. I just have to connect (think big climax) the middle to the end. I know what has to happen, it's just getting something down so I can read through and fill in and polish. My brain is having a hard time with it. My solution is to keep going. Even if I develop a twitch in the corner of my left eye, I have to accept that I can write the word "transition" or "needs something here" and continue on. It's okay to do this.

Working through a first draft, for me, can be tedious. The thing is-- we all have our own process. As we hone our skills and write our babies, we figure out what works best for us. It's getting over fears or at least calming them down, taking a breath, and jumping in. So here I go. I'm off to write a big battle scene.

How do you get through your first draft?

Have a great day!!


  1. I feel the same way. At least with revisions, I have something to work with.
    I am an avid outliner though and tend to plot my stories to death. When I do start that dratted first draft, I have enough I can plow through the unpleasantness rather quickly.
    Just keep on working on that scene that bridges the two!

  2. I think it's great that you are determined to finish your first draft. Right now, I'm working on a first draft, one that I had gone back to revise so many times that sometimes I feel like I'm moving backward instead of forward. My main tip is just to keep writing!

  3. Sudden bursts of inspiration that come from the periphery. Maybe just browsing this and that. Any thing but still writer related. Then I jot down notes, a scene, a dialogue. Bits and pieces that are now writing up the side of the page, or arrows every where, connecting to scenes I wrote earlier that I've circled.

    Now I have to make sense of all my scribbles and type them in.
    Then it shapes itself until my next repeat cycle.

    Have a pleasant week, Christine. Good luck with your draft.

  4. Sorry I'm just now seeing this but I've been away from the internet. Do what works for you, Christine. It took me two and a half years to get through the first draft of my first novel. Now that I'm starting my fifth, I still tend to take almost a year to write that terrifying first draft. And I'm also a pantser and much prefer revising. How do I get through? Keep writing but take breaks. That may sound contradictory, but it's what works for me. I have to step away from it when the passion fizzles. Then I work on something else. When I come back to the WIP, if the passion for it reignites I know I can get through. You can do this, Christine!