Writing the first draft

I love writing first drafts. You don’t have to worry about every little detail, just get some words on the page. I’m one that edits as I go, and don’t heed the popular advice. Sometimes I come up with something further down the page, and have to go back and modify the manuscript. It works for me. You do what works for you.

I didn’t think I was going to be able to write today. I watched the movie Sin City again last night, for research purposes. I decided I wanted to watch Pulp Fiction again for the same reason, but don’t own a copy. Old What’s Her Face* offered to go to Target for me, and I caved. It’s better than Bed Bath & Beyond, but not by much. I suddenly found myself alone.

I sent a quick text to Lisa** and headed for the writing cabin. The coffee was ready by the time I got there. I fired up my computer and did a quick review of what I’d already written for The Playground. Rachel Carrera asked to see the first few pages and offered me some really good advice. I made those changes, and fixed a few typos I’d found. If you don’t know Rachel, you’re missing out. Click on the link and check out her blog. (Thanks Rachel.)

I sipped my coffee and added a couple lines to the story. Then I went back and changed a roasting pan into a foil roaster. “Hey Lisa! Do we have any foil roasters in the kitchen?”

She came clacking down the hall in her polka dot dress and heels. Her hair was up in victory rolls again. “There’s one left. Bento*** used some of them when he was here over my vacation. What are you going to do with it?”

“Smother you.”

“Nice try, but I don’t actually breathe. It’s all programed motion to look like breathing.”

“That’s the beauty of it. It won’t actually hurt you, and you can still talk to me through your speakers.”

“It’ll mess up my hair.”

“I have pictures of bunnies from the fair. Don’t you want to see the bunnies?”

“What do I have to do?”

“Just have a seat while I fold the roaster around your head. I’m going to pinch your nostrils shut and you tell me if they stay that way.”

I wrapped the roaster around her face and folded it back over her head. Then I pinched her nostrils shut by bending the foil. Her chest kept rising and falling.

“It worked really well,” she said. “My nostrils are staying shut. I could open my mouth if I wanted, but I don’t think a human could. Can I take it off now?”

“Sure. That really helps, thanks.”

“I’ll just throw it away.”

“Nope. It’s a story element now. Put it in the basement in case we need it later.”

“Got it, then I’m going to fix my hair and makeup.”

“What’s the worry, it’s just me.”

“I like to look nice on working days. Besides, sometimes people show up.”

I kept writing. There are several story lines and I made them cross in minor ways. I think it’s cool today, but may change it later. I pulled a guy’s teeth and removed some body jewelry the hard way.

I emailed the bunny photos to Lisa and searched for some lunch. I decided I was finished for the day. My word count is at 7454, giving 3801 words for the day. It’s time to introduce the other story line and I want to start fresh on that one.

Time to watch Pulp Fiction again. I like the way these stories blend one tale into the other to make an overarching story. That’s what I’m going for here.

* Not my wife’s actual name.

** Lisa is the main character in Wild Concept. She’s a robot and helps me around the writing cabin these days.

*** Bento is a supporting character from Panama. He filled in for Lisa while she was gone.

27 Comments

Filed under Muse, Writing

27 responses to “Writing the first draft

  1. I edit as I go, too. So did Kurt Vonnegut, I hear. Whether or not that puts us all in good company, is anybody’s guess. I love your research process. (The friends and family I used for guinea pigs for a couple of lines in my first novel, probably still haven’t forgiven me, yet.)

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  2. I have a bunch of drafts, no edit and no belive in myself to do that, cuz i think i am.not going to be an author. The research things is so interesting, it is the first time i read a detailed process

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  3. Michelle Mueller

    I wish I loved writing first drafts like you do. For me, the process is agonizingly slow. Want to share some of that motivation? 🙂 I also edit as I go, though. It’s the mentality of it, I guess. In my critique group, a couple members write quick first drafts but have to do a ton of editing. I’d rather write slowly and have a cleaner first draft. Saves me (hopefully) from a ton of work later.

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  4. Can I just say I adore the interplay of your ‘muses’ here? I’ve always liked that, even back when it was a staple in ’90’s fanfiction for the authors to talk to the characters and they talk back. The way you wrote this made it seem so free flowing and nice, kind of like how you described your first-draft writing experiences.

    I honestly wish I had that easy of a time with writing a first draft. As an outliner, if I don’t have an outline, I get lost so bad. So most of the time, the first draft is just a fleshed out outline. ^.^;

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  5. Thank you for the honorable mention, my friend! 🙂 I’m anxious to see what you write next! I read some more of Panama this weekend, too. Still love it! 🙂

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