"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)


The Art of the First Draft

Sorry, folks, no Fiction Friday for me this month.  I'm dedicating the time to my novel, via NaNoWriSlow (thanks to Literary Mouse for coining the phrase!).  I'm making wonderful progress, by the way.  I'm at 19,502 words, and it's only day 5.  I think I'm on track to finish my first draft by the end of the month.  A very skinny first draft, that is.

But that's OK.  The purpose of a first draft is to just get the story down.  A first draft, to me, is like a pencil sketch.  It's bare bones information, kind of dull and boring, I admit.  Reading through it is almost like listening to a kindergartner tell a story.

"And then, the princess, she's banished to another world, a world where they are mean to her because she's different from them.  But her sister is really nice.  And her mom isn't mean, even though she's not really her mom.  And then she meets a nice boy who pretends to be her friend, but then he's really a wolf in disguise..."

You get the gist.  It's crap, I know, I know it's crap.  But that's OK.  Because once I have the story in place, I can go back and erase the rough spots, add a lot of color, depth, light, and nuance.  I can weave in my theme, heighten the emotional impact of my key scenes.  I can build something great, but I have to have the foundation in place. 

The foundation is the story.  And NaNo helps me focus so I can spit the story out onto the page.


Sue Jackson said...

That's great, Shelli! I'm so impressed by your dedication.

Sorry I haven't been around much - just so hard to keep up with everything. I say that a lot don't I? I really need to find a way to focus on priorities. My own book is still stuck at outline/first chapter stage...sigh...I will let your work inspire me!!


Shelli said...

Sue -- You never have to apologize, because I know the challenges of keeping up when you're under the weather.

You have such a beautiful voice, it would be wonderful if you found your way past that first chapter barrier. The world is waiting! That said, I know how hard it is to prioritize. Good luck figuring out that puzzle!