Tuesday, May 6, 2008

This Writer's Life: The First Draft

For me, the first draft is the easiest. The words come fast, sometimes faster than I can type. I love this time when the story is flowing...and then...comes the middle. Oh the middle. By the time I get to the middle, I already know the end of the first draft but I'm not sure how to get there, for me the middle is like coming to the edge of a giant river and not seeing a bridge in either direction. How do I cross? How do I get to the other side? How do I finish this book?

The middle is the first spot that I write out the parts to the book. Generally I write a little blurb about all the chapters I've already completed and I write a blurb about the ending chapters and then I fill in the middle.

Inevitably, 'my process' involves pacing in the yard, curling up into a ball on my bed, listening to the voice. Attempting not to judge whatever story I'm told.

Today, I will finish the first draft of my third book. A stand alone, not part of The Hollywood Girls Club series. At the end of each first draft I always feel as though I've accomplished something. Perhaps it's the knowledge that I built the bridge and completed the journey. I will print and read the manuscript. There will be gaping holes, errors, typos, misspellings, all kinds of problems. But I will have the structure, the bones of my story. My characters, my plot, my story will be on paper. No longer inhabiting only my head, they will have a true form in this world, on the page. Then after reading the manuscript with all its problems, I will put it aside, and wait. I will let my mind work on all the changes, the character glitches, the problems with story. And then, I will do what makes a manuscript shine...then I will rewrite.
xo Maggie

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