Let’s be realistic: no one has a sparkly clean mind. They’re messy and complicated, kind of like the directions for my new crock pot. Bits of information are scattered all over the place. But a scattered mind is what makes us human, so at least we have that as an excuse.
A critique partner asked me once how I make my stories so polished. I’m still not exactly sure what he meant, but I answered back by saying, “They sure don’t start out that way.” Maybe that’s because I start writing the first draft on notebook paper, not computer. In that initial shotgun blast, I have to keep up with the story by writing in shorthand. My typing fingers are too slow. Below is an example of how dirty/messy/complicated and unpolished my writing is:
Lines and whole sentences are crossed out. Phrases are scribbled in the margins. Eventual destinations are marked with stars. It’s crazy! But that’s what fell out of my messy head.
Of course, this word vomit winds up on my computer so that I can sort it out, but still. Writing is messy, and showers won’t help.
So, writers, what do your first drafts look like?
Anyone, what’s on your dirty minds? Wait, do I want to know?
Anyone, do you have any good recipes for my new crock pot?