Good 1st Drafts are like good 1st Dates: Brimming with excitement, blinding to imperfections.
It feels so good to “actually be ‘writing’” the story. Although it may sound strange, a danger is hiding here, for the emotional highs we get from “finishing” sections/chapters/books can sometimes hinder the creative process. We have to be careful to consistently step back, get to the window and stare.
We should repeat this practice throughout the entirety of our projects. Milling over our stories before, during and after the keyboarding is vital to writing a great novel. Keep musing, charting, planning, critiquing and, of course, typing. Novel writing is the sum of those parts.
After I have done all that I listed here I finally get to sit down at the keyboard and start typing it.
1) I am sure to have a “sacred space” for my writing without distractions. I write in my basement where there is (by design) no Network connection. (I even went out a few years ago and bought a used laptop with a broken wireless adapter for this purpose.) I also set the mood for my writing.
2) I lay out my scene list from my pre-drafting work and start typing. I have a master folder on each computer wherein I put a folder for that day’s work. I make a different Word doc for each chapter. (more…)