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Monday, September 13, 2010

Inside of a WIP

The inside of a WIP is a pretty good place to be.

I like when I get into a rhythm with the writing--when I can pull out the notebook or open the doc. and the words just trickle out oh-so easily.

But as I approach the final third of my WIP, I find my writing pace slowing down. Perhaps it is because when I finish a major project, I always feel kind of sad. I will miss my WIP friend. (I mean, even though I'll see it again in revisionland, we are rarely so friendly with each other as we are during the first draft.)

What I love about being in the middle of he first draft is that for me, the first draft is the Discovery Draft. It is where the story reveals itself to me, in its entirety, for the first time. (A very magical place to be...the middle of the first draft is.)

Now, granted, it's the FIRST draft. I know there will be lots of other drafts to come. Lots of revision. Lots.Of.Revision.

But that doesn't mean that I am not trying as hard as I can to get it right the first time. I try with every once of my being to get the first draft perfect, even though I know it never is.

I think that's sometimes a misconception about us pantsters (okay, that word does not look right). There's a thought that we can just let the draft be cruddy because we know we are going to go back and revise. And I guess this is true about me....except that it is always my secret hope that I won't have to.... It is my secret hope that I would get the story out right the first time.

I mean, a girl can dream can't she?


P.S. The current number of drafts for The Seven Tales of Trinket (pre-agent) was 14. Some of the changes were very small between drafts, and some were huge, sweeping structural changes. But I saved each draft in case I thought I made a mistake in some of my revising and wanted to go back to an earlier version. (Happened twice.)


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Well, I'm happy that you're happy inside your WIP. A happy Storyqueen is a very good thing, so please don't get sad when you finish, because it will go out into the world and have lots of friends.

Susan R. Mills said...

I am the same way! I love being in the middle of the first draft. It would be nice if I got it right the first time, but not going to happen.

Margo Berendsen said...

Oh I love first drafts too! There is something magical about them. I'm like you too, I save versions of revisions. And I actually have gone back to old revisions and re-used stuff that turned out to be good stuff after all!

storyqueen said...

Tricia-Hopefully would be quite unfortunate for my little darling to get the crud beat out of him!

Susan-Isn't it funny? I am so sure, with each word that I right, that I could not be telling the story any better...but I am usually wrong.

Margo-Me too! I took out a prologue when prologues became a big no-no....but then I stuck one back in....changed it some, but I just really wanted it!

Kelly said...

I love first draft time too. It's so freeing. And after I conclude a project I feel like "what now?" even though I have twenty ideas in a notebook to start (or finish)!

Jackee said...

What a great peek into your process! I more fall out of love with a WIP at the first third mark. Then I fall back in love at the halfway point if I can force myself that far. It's not a coincidence that I have a bunch of books waiting for me at about page 60-75! :)

Have a wonderful night, Shelley!

Myrna Foster said...

How many drafts do you usually do one picture books?

Hardygirl said...

Oooo--that would be dreamy--to just bang out a masterpiece the FIRST time.

I love that discovery phase, too!


storyqueen said...

Kelly-Ah yes, the "What now?" phase....I usually struggle a bit there, trying to determine the next path to follow....

Jackee-I think I must be a bit stubborn. If I have put a lot of time into a piece (like 4 months or so)I am very hesitant to not finish it, even if I am really out of love with it.

Myrna-That is a good that probably deserves its own post someday. But relatively speaking, it COMPLETELY depends on the piece.

SF-I know, right? WISHING it could be a reality.