Aug. 17th, 2013 12:45 pm
coniferous_you: (Stop! Lizard ahead!)
[personal profile] coniferous_you
For the first time in actually quite a while, I'm first-drafting.

I'm not sure why, but the most recent draft of Lunaside Girl broke the curse of constant re-writing that had kept me paralyzed for literal years.

So now I've (finally) moved on, and I'm able to consider the first-drafting process from a fresh, raw perspective again.

My process for writing a new manuscript is similar to the one Jandy Nelson (you might have noticed I mentioned her a few times in here now) describes as her method. For her, and I suppose for me, the first draft requires sort of relentless immersion in the life of a character that necessitates the end of the writing process. Sort of an obessive "I can't get out of your head until I tell your story" complex.

Not that it's like automatic writing, but that the first draft is where the character comes into her or his own voice. In that crucial "getting it down on paper" time, everything is raw, and characters tend to be made of extremes. Nice people sweat sunshine; antagonists are larger-than-life sociopaths. It's visceral, a rush, and emotionally taxing. Its completion means catharsis, which allows for a clear transition to the real work of editing and, often, research and world-building.

That's why I do it this way. The personal challenge from this method of drafting ensures that I finish, and I genuinely enjoy the editing process. There's a certain satisfaction I get from taking that raw draft and meticulously shaping it into something reasonable.

Because I am, above all things, a masochist.

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