Friday Update and the Shitty First Draft

I finished the draft of the siren story on Tuesday, and now I’m deep into rewrites. I have one more pivotal scene to whip into shape, and then it’ll be ready to ship off to my brilliant CPs.

But all this rewriting has gotten me thinking about the Shitty First Draft. The Shitty First Draft, for those of you who don’t know, is the draft where you give yourself permission to suck. Just write, let the crappy words flow, and worry about the rest later. Trouble is, you do eventually have to go back and make sense of those crappy words. That’s the part that frightens me to no end.

A couple books ago, I gave myself permission to just write. I churned out pages like crazy, and eventually finished the book in just under two months. The result was a complete and utter mess. The book went so far off track; I ended up having to cut 50,000+ words just to salvage it. Ouch! It might have worked better if I’d written an outline beforehand, but that’s way too left brain for me. I just dove in, full force, and ended up killing my poor book as a result.

So, the moral of the story is, if you’re going to write a Shitty First Draft, at least have some vague idea where the story is headed before diving in. In rewrites, you’ll be thankful you gave it some thought. Trust me.

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