"Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe" ~ Neil Gaiman (A Game of You)


Rules for a Great Rough Draft

1.  Keep your hand moving.  If you stop your hand, you stop the creator's flow and give the editor in you an opportunity to interrupt.
2.  Lose control.  Just say what you want no matter how inappropriate.  Just go for it.
3.  Be specific.  Don't write flower, write narcissus.
4.  Don't think.  Stay with the first thing that flashes into your mind.
5.  Don't worry about punctuation, spelling, and grammar.
6.  You are free to write the worst junk in America.  (Or, in your case, it could be anywhere in the world!)
7.  Go for the jugular.  Whatever comes up, no matter how frightening or disturbing, write it down.

Sadly, I don't remember the source for this list.  I was blog hopping one day, found it, and printed it out.  I love it though, and I wanted to share it with other writers.  If you are the author, please let me know so I can give you credit!


Renee said...

Oh, I love this list...and I so often try to do the opposite with some of what is listed!

Cathryn Grant said...

It's from Natalie Goldberg's "Writing Down the Bones" - one of the best books on writing, one that completely changed my writing.

Your list is slightly modified, she only had six. She didn't have "be specific" in her "list" but she certainly goes on to talk about it at great length.

I love it too, thanks for reminding me.

Shelli said...

Renee -- yes, I get some surprising results when I let myself go!

Cathryn -- Thanks for the reference. It looks like I'm not the only one plagiarizing on the blogs! And thank you, I'll take a look at getting her book myself. I love learning.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I needed to hear this today. Thank you!

Shelli said...

VV -- I'm glad it was timely! It's very should see my rant about the dogs this morning.

And welcome to my blog! I appreciate your comments and hope to see you back soon.