Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Drafts - Eileen Charbonneau - Elements of the Novel

In this chapter Eileen Charbonneau talks about doing drafts. Now here is someone who approaches writing in almost the manner I do. I have a feeling her first draft is much longer than mine usually end up. But for me this is the way I write. Other people write differently since they revise each scene or chapter before they continue. What she's addressing here is what happens after a writer has found all the elements of their story and have begun the real thing.

In the Elements of the Novel, Eileen talks about three drafts. The first is getting down the story going where the characters and the idea takes the writer. Essentially this is getting the story down on paper no matter if you write it out by hand or type it into the computer. Here is where everything and anything goes. I often call this the draft only the writer can love. This is the Sound Draft.

The second of the Drafts is the Sense draft. What that really means is looking at all the elements of the story and seeing if they are what you want to show the reader. Are the characters developed? Is the setting there? Do you have holes in the plot that need to be filled in? Sometimes I find holes big enough to drive a Sherman tank through. For me, this means doing each element separately. I do wish I could do it all in one but that's not the way I work.

The third draft she speaks about is named Sing. Here attention is paid to the word use, to taking out the boring parts and making them come alive. Getting rid of those tell passages and showing, drawing the reader in. Read your story aloud. This will show you parts that don't fit what you've written. Once you've done all this, you're done. Except for me there's a final look through to find those missing question marks and those words that are real words but aren't the ones you meant to type.

But the journey isn't finished. There are a few more chapters to finish in this well-written little book.

1 comment:

Janice Seagraves said...

Sounds like a good book, and similar to the way I write.

Writing the rough draft is fast, it's everything that comes after that's seems to take so much time.