Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Very shitty first drafts

Oh goodness me, they stink. In the last month, I have written six first drafts of stories, each 2500-3000 words in length, and I am almost convinced that not a single one of them has merit. It's a question of how much the turds can be polished. Sometimes the white hot feeling kicks in, but right now it's gone AWOL and I'm scratching around like an English middle-order batsman.

Interestingly, my first draft process works like this:

On finishing the first draft: "Wow. That is genius. Give me that Bridport gong thingy over here."
A day after finishing the first draft, on rereading: "Oh no."
Two days after finishing the first draft: "Oh Christ. What does that bit mean? What was that? Who wriote this? I did? Quick, someone, cut off my fingers."
Two weeks after finishing the first draft: "Well, I can see what I was trying to do - let's fix it up and get it out there."

I hope at least one of the six will make it to the latter stage. There's nothing like the dispiriting feeling you've just "burnt" a good concept on a shitty first draft, after all.

Problem is, I suspect only one of them is thematically interesting...

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