You remember the sitcoms where they’d start showing a collage of moments from various episodes in the past, just plugging in old bits of content as filler, and otherwise taking up room? They try and push the jokes and punchlines that out-of-context make little sense. Well, that’s what this post is!
Chatting to someone on Twitter about first drafts last night (which was the getting to completion stage, rather than the what-next stage that I’ve been writing about more recently), I realised there was a bit of content on here that could be useful for anyone struggling to make it to the end of their first draft. Given that it’s such a significant accomplishment to get to the end of one draft, I thought it might be handy to draw attention that-a-way.
Why Getting It Wrong Is Right was originally posted in July 2013, and it’s about letting go. A little bit about giving yourself room to breathe when you write, and making yourself accept that it doesn’t need to be perfect, because those minor changes don’t rob the story of its essence.
Plodding Through was my way of motivating myself to persist with what I was writing when it was starting to feel slow. It was a post-nano December, and my routine reverted to its pre-November pace, which meant it felt like a crawl in comparison. The approach it offers is in finding ways to re-inspire ourselves, reigniting that spark that was there when we began.
Stuck in the Mud is from January 2014, and offers some ways to break through the wall of things-not-working-quite-right. This is less about enthusiasm, and more on ways to recapture the mood of the story. This is for those occasions when you know the story needs to progress, but none of what you’re writing event-wise feels right. It has some of the strategies I’ve used to get past that, and bring focus back to what you’re doing.
Overcoming Writing Hurdles is the last of the flashbacks, and takes the blog back to May 2013. You can see the struggles I was having at the time, and reiterates an important piece of information – you can’t be afraid to change things. When you’ve actually finished the first draft, you need to be open to change. Before it’s done, yes, you need to be open to change then, too!
And that’s our episode. Cue the laugh track.