Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Good "bad" drafts

Writer Unboxed has some really good advice  on writing a great "shitty first draft." Pantsers, take note:
Let’s face it, it’s much easier – seemingly liberating — to let ‘er rip and write without thinking, pantser-style, than it is to think about what you’re writing beforehand, and track it as you go. Plus, since staring at that blank page can be exceedingly stressful, the relief of letting it all pour out not only feels good, it feels right. Thus it’s easy to believe that this is the natural path to storytelling. Which in turn means that if at the end of the day that flood can’t be shaped into an actual story? Well, you must not be a real writer after all.
I'm a little giddy at the light takedown of "pantsers." I've known more than one writer who believes that if you can't pour it all out on the first try, you're not a "real" writer Bull. And I don't find it liberating at all. Frustrating? Yes. Good for humorous typos? Of course. But over the years, I've found that I write better when I have some sort of plan. Maybe not a formal outline, but something resembling direction. That being said, the best thing I've written to date was born out of a piece of short, experimental writing that I kept building and building upon until it became a 5000-word short story. The key is whatever works for you.

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