Sunday, February 21, 2010

More of My Way -- Rough draft

Once I have my six points planned it's time to begin. I start a rough draft feeling sick. Don't ask me why but I know I am never going to get the story down. I take the chapter sketch and then begin with sort of an outline. Then I begin. After doing the opening paragraph about ten times. This is a delaying tactic. My object is to get the story down as fast as I can. This draft is done partly in pen and partly on the computer. Some people do a book in a month and have a lot of pages. I do the rough draft in a day per chapter so my time varies. This is writing only a mother could love. Seriously, there is some dialogue, some stage direction and whole scenes done in one short paragraph or even a single sentence. I might write, they make love her viewpoint or they make love his viewpoint. She finds the body. There is a magical confrontation. Much depends on which genre I'm working on. There are no emotions, very little motivations. This draft probably ends up at about one quarter to one half of the book. Not many people work this way, but it works for me. I must know where I'm headed before I can made the story and the characters work.
The book I'm coming close to finishing began this way to the consternation of my critique group. I've never read them rough draft before. This story also had several changes, sort of major ones, during the rough draft. My hero had an older nasty brother. He remained the same. He had a younger sister who was supposed to be the new pharaoh's wife. Somewhere during the rough draft I knew this wouldn't work. He had to have a younger brother who would not be the pharaoh but something different in another book. This story also started out to be just a single book but during the rough draft this became a trilogy. At the end of the process I had about 25000 words of what looks to end up between 75000 and 80000 words. What I began with is not what I started with but I knew there were other drafts to do where all the problems would be solved.

2 comments:

Wendy Marcus said...

When I get ready to start a new scene, I turn it over and over in my head. I come up with witty phrases and great wording. I put the entire scene together. Then I type it into the computer, and it's never as good. It's a real let-down. It gets there eventually, but only after much revision.

Terri said...

As is often the case, I can't tell if you really want comments. Or if you don't.