Monday 13 January 2020
Drafting Fun - The Creative Process
I have to say that drafting is my favourite part of the writing process. I know I've talked about why I hate editing, (piece found here) but I've never really gone into why I find drafting so much easier, and more fun. Right now I'm working on two semi-new projects in that I've only been writing them a couple of months, and it just awoke that part of me that loves doing this for a living.
Drafting is only the start of the process, you have to have a first draft to be able to move onto the next step, revisions and more drafts before editing starts. I do have to say that because I edit as I go, a lot of the time, my first draft is more like a second one, or somewhere between the two. And while I love that first foray into writing a new idea, I'm not too keen on revisions, which is another step that has to be done, and I usually grit my teeth and get on with it!
So why do I love drafting so much? I'm going to give you my reasons and break down why I've chosen them! So stick around and find out!
#1 I LOVE DISCOVERING THE STORY
I'm pretty much a pantser when it comes to the drafting stage. I do have a minimal outline, but it's two pieces of paper with all of my chapters, and about four words max next to each of them. When I outline, I think up plot points that need to happen and mix them in with other things that might happen, and then I give myself permission to go into the draft knowing that some of these things either won't come to fruition or they'll be moved earlier or later down the timeline.
Basically, I'm a discovery writer, in that I find out the story as I'm telling it. There are some moments when I'll go back to edit and find out I was already foreshadowing an event that I didn't think I'd thought of, so obviously somewhere my brain knows what should happen, even if it happens later than planned!
#2 I LOVE GETTING TO KNOW THE CHARACTERS
Usually, I will have some idea of who the main character is, and a few other people that surround them. Sometimes, depending on the genre, I'll know who the antagonist is, but other times I'll find myself working it out as I write. When it's a crime/mystery book, I generally have a good plan for the bad guy, but when drafting the Invisible series, I had an antagonist planned and he never ever ended up in the series. It just didn't make sense with how the story was going, so he was dropped entirely.
However, even if I don't know much about the characters, I do love getting to know them during the drafting phase. One of the reasons I wrote the Lights Out trilogy was because the inital idea was for a standalone and yet when I got to know Lock, I realised she'd never act the way I'd planned, and the trilogy was born!
#3 I LOVE THINKING ON MY FEET
It's something that when it comes to writing, I'm pretty good at, other ways I kinda suck at it, but writing a story? I'm blowing it outta the water with ideas and such that I can use to keep it moving forward and get from point A to point B and have it make the most sense. It gives me a chance to use my brain to think up a situation that will fit the narrative and while you could say the same happens in outlining, I'm just not a writer who can work with, and stick to, a massive outline. It's never been my style and I don't see that changing any time soon.
And finally, #4 I LOVE THE STORIES I CAN TELL
This might seem like an ego thing, same as the last point, but to be honest, it's not really. I read a whole ton, and I also write a lot, but when the two come together, when I'm drafting and reading this story that came from my own mind, I really find myself enjoying them. I adore what I've written and being able to see that while it's not perfect, it is something to be proud of. It's something that has always been enjoyable to me. I still have bouts of low self-esteem, but when I look at the books on my shelf, the ones I wrote, I couldn't be prouder for what I've managed.
So there we have it, the four things that make drafting fun for me. I'm really very much a writer who adores the initial exploring of the idea, of telling it and enjoying it, and not one that enjoys what comes afterwards. While all of those steps need to be done, it's usual for a writer to have a favourite part of the process, and for me that will always be those first words, chapters and pages of a fresh draft.
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