Word Mashing Update

I’ll talk about it, I’ll tweet about it, but it looks like I don’t blog about it much.

“What, exactly, is going on in the word mashing arena?” you might be asking. Fair enough.

I’ve really embraced the entire “the first draft is just for me” mentality. So much so, I’m willing to evangelize it a little here. I don’t outline, I just can’t, but I can write fast (usually). That first draft, something I never appreciated before, is me working out my thoughts. There are inconsistencies, loops, and bum legs that move from one side to the other like a slightly famous Igor. ┬áLike Jamie Rubin said when he made this infographic here:

Story-Drafts from JamieRubin.net

The second draft is where the gold is. Its the pass where I can correct logic flaws, fix consistency errors. If the last few weeks is any indication, the second draft is also a lot faster to write. Since I finished the first draft of the last novel, I’ve written 12000 words in 14 days. A lot of that I contribute to treating the first draft like a really fleshy outline. Sure, it takes me longer to outline than a traditionalist, but when I go back for my second draft, the fingers are on fire. I’ve revised a story I loved writing the first time, and the second time I think I made a lot more consistent (“Beneath the Veil of Clouds”), and I’m 2/3 of the way through revisions on another short story (“Chris Cross, Applesauce”).

So what next? Next I’m giving serious consideration to taking a look at a previously failed novel. I really loved working on “A Mountain Fell From Heaven,” and then I let it die off because I didn’t know how to write. Now I know – keep writing past that, let the story shape itself. Worry about all of the other crap, like whether Amos was holding a sword in his left hand or right hand when the karvashi flowed into the room like a throng of killer monkeys, in the second draft, the draft I write for the reader.

And that’s where I’m at, mashing words and finding my way along the path.

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