Thursday, April 21, 2011

Indulge me

Indulgence: disciplined indulgence. That, I'm discovering, is what's necessary for a first draft.

Too much discipline and you're paralyzed: your arm a rigid arc of bone, fingers crooked, words frozen in your mind because they're not ... quite ... right. They're never quite right.

Too much indulgence and you close up the computer and go eat chips instead of writing. What, that's just me?

You have to find a way, and I struggle with this every day, to force yourself those indulgent explorations of the story, to go down paths that hadn't occurred to you when you started writing the scene or the paragraph or even the sentence.

See where things go. You're exploring. There will be time enough later for the merciless gimlet eye of revision.

So the early draft stinks? So does organic fertilizer. But it's great for when you need something to grow.

Did I just compare my exploratory draft to excrement? Yes I did. Sometimes you have to just roll with it.

1 comment:

Babs said...

Well--as long as you don't roll in "it". Writer's workshoppers (is that a real word??) always say to just throw down anything for your first draft--a dumping of the brain, if you will. What's all this reference to s%$#*?