We’ve already done a few posts in regards to the #80Khotfoot Badgirlz Book Race, so hopefully everyone knows what it’s about. (Guns blazing rough draft writing ‘til we hit the end!) We’ll start 3/15 and the goal is to finish by 6/7. For those counting, that’s 12 weeks. 3 months. A reasonable rough draft (RD) time frame for a professional writer. Time to hustle girls, hustle!
Now…how to make that happen? With plan and execution. I’m a plotser, so my plan doesn’t take weeks upon weeks to design. First, I develop my characters. Lucky for me, the characters in this upcoming RD are in the other 2 previous books, so…we be mates. Then, I use a plot technique (that I’ll go into further some other time) to make sure I hit all the important turns in a character’s journey. I type up notes for each scene on a word doc and then cut and tape these notes to note cards (no where near as pretty as EMichels’). With that, I know where to begin and where I’m going with the story, even if I’m not 100% sure of all that happens in the middle. More importantly, I know I can edit my rough draft into a thing of beauty if it goes off the plan or even off the rails. The rough draft doesn’t have to be perfect. *AHEM* Let me say that again…The rough draft does not have to be perfect. It’s called rough for a reason. 😉
I bring this up because I used to suffer from an ailment known as First Draft Perfectionitis. I’d write a chapter, edit. Write a chapter, edit. Maybe that works for some people, but it made me loony tunes and completely shut down my creativity. By chapter 5, I was over it and ready to quit. Then, I went to a workshop with the awesome Anna Destefano. (If you haven’t been to one, remedy that soon. Her schedule of appearances can be found here: http://www.annawrites.com/calendar.html )
The most basic gist of the workshop: Don’t be afraid to write rough. Some of your rough draft will come out beautifully, some will be utter crap. It’s okay! As long as it’s written, you can make it shine in the editing process. A few writers can write a bright and shining manuscript the first go ‘round. I am not one of these writers.
My first round is normally 10-15K words short of my usual 80-83K, there are entire scenes that may just be dialogue with no body language or setting details. There are parts that have comment tags like, “Add more shiz here.” 😀 This is how I write. My RD is seen by no one, not even my understanding critique partners. They get round 2 or 3, bless their ickle hearts.
I write this way because it works for me. A scene may come to me in perfect dialogue that I must get down before it leaves my brain. Sure, I know the setting and the action, but as I draft, if I go into how pretty the garden looks and all the flowers that bloom within, it will only slow my momentum and frustrate me to the point of stopping. Instead, I move on to the next. Later, I go back and deepen the detail, the body language, and all the feels. Other scenes come to me fully fleshed out. Perhaps my heroine finally opens up about her past and her relationship with her mother. Maybe it’s TMI, but I go with it. I can tighten it up later, but if I try and edit my heroine as she speaks to me, it will totally kill the flow.
Don’t let imperfection bog you down or stop your writing. Quit overthinking and worrying and write more words. Simply put: Just tell the story. -EMichels.
What about you? How do you write rough drafts? How do you intend to make it to The End by June 7th? Do you have an intricate plan or a flexible map? HOW PUMPED ARE YOU TO DO THIS THING??!!! 😀
Tweet all about your efforts, successes, and struggles using #80Khotfoot so we can all keep up with and encourage each other. We can get to THE END together!