Thursday, June 10, 2010

Writing through the crap

Writing through a big ole spot or spots of crap isn't fun. It doesn't help my confidence in my writing abilities, and it doesn't exactly make me feel all warm and fuzzy about current WIP. But, the one thing it is is: Productive.

Might not sound that way, but writing through the crap and giving yourself permission to do so is productive. Sure, you have to go back at some point and fix said poo, but guess what? You have to go back and revise anyway, and now you have a completed draft. There is something to actually fix. You're not staring at a blank page.

I used to feel awkward about writing terrible sentences, paragraphs, and pages. Deadlines taught me otherwise. I'm the kind of writer that if I didn't give myself permission to write through the crap, I'd slave over every page until it was perfect and I'd most likely never complete a manuscript, and if I did, it would take me a long ass time.

So now I write whatever comes to mind. If nothing comes to mind, then I'll make a note and keep going until something does. If it's crap, it's crap. That's why it's called a rough draft. Yesterday I wrote five pages of crap. And it wasn't a waste of time. It allowed me to continue on with the story and move things along. Had I not done that, I would have stared at the screen for days because, quite frankly, the scene in those five pages did not want to be written. And if I'd waited or made so many attempts at perfection, I never would have moved on.

My rough drafts are littered with brackets: [FIX THIS] or [RESEARCH] or [CHARLIE KICKS ASS HERE] or [MORE HERE]. But these markers help me to keep going until The End. Then, when I do go back for my first revision, I know what happens in the story, I can see the over all arcs, and I can better address certain issues and fix certain things.

Works for me. :-) Now, I'm off to write more cra-- *cough* rough stuff....

7 comments:

Jill Wheeler said...

I so needed to hear this today! Thanks for that.

Melissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa said...

Heh... Let me say that better... the first was a rough draft. ;)

It's like that with painting. Sometimes you have to paint a preliminary or tonal painting to get most of the crap out of the way. :)

Melissa Carmichael said...

Well, I was kind of hoping the writing got easier but, after reading your post and others...I guess not:(

P.S. Keep writing though the crap. I love your books:)

Kelly Gay said...

Sure, Jill. :-)

LOL, Melissa.

Melissa C. - Nope. It doesn't get easier. In some respects, it does and in some, it gets even harder. There is a blog post in this somewhere... must go think.

Jim said...

"
So now I write whatever comes to mind. If nothing comes to mind, then I'll make a note and keep going until something does. If it's crap, it's crap. That's why it's called a rough draft. Yesterday I wrote five pages of crap. And it wasn't a waste of time. It allowed me to continue on with the story and move things along. Had I not done that, I would have stared at the screen for days because, quite frankly, the scene in those five pages did not want to be written. And if I'd waited or made so many attempts at perfection, I never would have moved on."

Those are great points.

Kelly Gay said...

Thanks, Jim! :-)