Friday, November 2, 2007

Crappy First Drafts


That's the word that comes to mind when I think of the draft I am attempting to write now. The dialogue sounds unrealistic and boring. The descriptions seem forced. I'm taking too long to get to the action (and part of the problem is that I'm not sure what the action is in this section) and this little voice in the back of my head keeps whispering that I am wasting my time. The thought of someone else reading what I have written at this point makes me want to change my name and move to a foreign country. Ok, that last part was a little melodramatic.

I also feel the need to confess that I am a chronic "re-doer". I have started this project over three times, changing the setting and the point of view around, messing with where to start the story and how. I've written about twenty chapters all togehter, only two of which are still in use.

My instinct is telling me to push through. If I can get this first draft done--even if it's total crap--then maybe I stand a chance of turning it into something readable down the road. Far, far down the road. :) But tonight I'm really struggling for every sentence and I'm doubting myself big time.

Do you guys have this problem too? Any advice?


  1. Have you read Shitty First Drafts by Anne Lamott?? Look it up! It will make you feel tons better.

  2. I'm actually working with a crappy first draft myself... The initial version of my screenplay, of course, does not match my vision. But everything I've read has said to continue plugging through your first draft and worry about revising later. I've found this to be a much better way of progressing with the project. Naturally, it can be a bit irksome, as you're forced to brush off lame bits of dialogue and weak story points. In the end, though, at least you'll have finished at least some semblance of what your project will ultimately become. The way I see it, if your first draft resembles (even remotely) some aspect that you hope to achieve in the finished product, you're good... although I do recommend outlining before you start.

  3. I never did first drafts.

    I don't know why.

    I say stop doubting yourself.

    You're your own worst critic.