November 4, 2013

First Drafts and NaNoWriMo

Typewriter Girl Vintage
Image from The Graphics Fairy

    There is a great amount of advice out there on writing and NaNoWriMo.  Much of what I have to say today is likely just a rehashing of advice that is already out there.  However, good advice should be repeated.  And sometimes, when we are frantically in over our heads, we need to hear that advice even more.  Lets talk about first drafts.

    They suck.  No, they are not hopeless and you should not give up on them.  The first draft is the first step in your adventure.  If you never write that idea down, you will never have something to work with.  It is a big undertaking.  It is messy and you don't always have all your ideas worked out yet.  The first draft is necessary though.  You can learn so much from the first draft. Just write.  Experiment.  Be awkward.  Get your ideas out on the paper and worry about getting them right later.  Send your inner editor on those coffee runs and kick you inner heckler out of town.

    I think Diana S., from The Pelican Writer, sums up the matter very well in her post Perfectionism and Your First Draft.  Also, if you want something to listen to I suggest the Writing Excuses episode from October 20th 2013 The Internal Heckler vs. The Internal Editor.  Without further a do on to the writing exercises.

Writing Response

    Last weeks writing exercise was to go to Oblique Strategies and write a poem using the statement given as a prompt.  I got the question: "Would anybody want it?"  Here is my response.

Would anybody want it
By Lilian Brennan
Would anybody want it?
This skill I have.
To wrap words around meaning
and meaning around words.
To me it is a toy
and yet a tool.
But is it tuned enough that anybody would want it?
Can I find a place where it is wanted or needed?
Can I earn my own?
Or shall I wander the world ever wondering?
Ever hoping?
Ever fearing?
Would anybody want it?
This skill I have.

Writing Exercises

    This month I would like to play with haiku.  If you are unfamiliar with what a haiku is and how to write one here are a few resources.  

   If you are participating in NaNoWriMo or if you have even part of a story written, pick out a scene.  Try to express that scene or a facet of that scene in a haiku.  

   And in closing, if you are participating in NaNoWriMo, go write.  

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