The Length of Rough Drafts

Tuesday, December 29



Sorry for not being able to post yesterday as promised, but I have a valid excuse; I did not have access to a computer. Great, moving on.

I found out something the other day. (As usual, this knowledge seems obvious but it's something I've only recently hammered into my thick head.)
I figured out that the rough draft does not have to be 200 pages.
I've been dissatisfied because my rough draft, my suposedly brilliant beginning, is turning out to be around 30 pages long.
But I finally figured out that it's only a rough draft. It doesn't have to be Leo Toltsky on the first try. This is only the backbone, the skeletal structure. The next drafts will add to it. Karen Cushman put it rather well. She said something to the extent of 'the rough draft is the bullion cube of a book' that she stretches into a full-fledged novel.
So don't worry if the Rough draft isn't the masterpiece you imagined.
They seldom are.

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Merry Christmas

Friday, December 25

I know every other blogger is doing the same post practically but, hey, who cares.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa...you know what, When I say "Merry Christmas," I'm wishing you good times.

Oh, and just to you writers, it's winter break so tackle those rough drafts of yours while you've got time.:)

Merry Christmas.






Picture by Ginsui-rin
 

Picture by Dream-traveler


 Picture by StudioQube

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People Watching

Friday, December 18


People Watching: [pee-puhl wotch-ing] -verb
To sit in a crowded place and watch strangers, silently make inferences about them, creating backgrounds, and/or making up a name for them. A time-honored tradition among dorky writers and bored airplane passengers.
Picture by Matteaton
I've always heard about people watching, but I never tried it out until recently. What I came up with is just a few quick jottings since people are in such a hurry nowadays that they never bother to stay put.

A man with black, lace-up boots hidden under a long pair of faded jeans slouches in his seat. His white, almost silver, hair is buzzed short. A black shirt peeks out of an old gray hoodie. His eyebrows are light brown and almost non-existent.

A girl stares blankly out the window. Her cinnamon hair is in a half ponytail, held back with a silver clip. Her hands are shoved in a black Betty Boop hoodie that's zipped halfway down to reveal a pink Volcom shirt. She wears dark blue capris and clasic black converse. Her feet are on tiptoe, pressing her heels against the bottom of the seat. A backpack sits on her lap and earphones are in her ears.

A young man with a brown fedora hat. his dark brown beard is closely shaved. his feet are planted apart and he slouches low in his seat. he wears a coarse brown pair of long pants, frayed at the bottom. he has faded blue converse.he wears a light blue shirt under a faded black leather jacket. His hands are shoved into his jacket's pockets.

If you're walking through a crowd though it's harder to get details of a person from a single glance.

Girl. Pink highlights. Numerous piercings.

Man. Heavily bearded. Plaid jacket. Looks like Paul Bunyan.

Woman. Dirty blond hair. Wearing a gold, heart-shaped locket. Tired.

Long nose. (I couldn't really focus on anything else like gender or clothes because seriously it was long.)

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Pen vs. Pencil

Monday, December 14


For me, what I use to write is somewhat important. If it's a pen, my writing get a little more relaxed and has the fun tone of a freewrite. With pencil I find myself to be a little more stiff and unwilling. (hence my love of pens.
I usually scribble in a notebook when I'm writing a rough draft though, because somehow typing it on a computer makes it seem like I can't change it, like it's set in stone.
However, my muse loves to mess with me, and she'll switch her tastes sometimes to actually prefer writing a rough draft on my laptop.

Writing tastes vary, and if you don't feel the creative juices flowing, try a different writing instrument.

Some writers have a wide collection of pens. They say that each pen gives gives the story a different tone. Me, I have one simple black ballpoint pen that I've had forever and I worry that it will die on me someday.

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Writing a Summary

Friday, December 11


I came up with this little fill-in-the-blank summary maker a while back. It's pretty useful if you're trying to figure out a problem or plot.

When 17-year-old (Age/Description) Bella Swan (Character) moves to the sleepy town of Forks (What they do), She (he/she) falls in love with a vampire(What they do). But when other, less self-controlled vampires show up (What happens), Bella's (Character's) life (what) is jeopardized, for Bella (Character) has become the prey of a hunter who will stop at nothing to destroy her (What).


Here's one with just the blank spots.
When ________ ___________________, ___ __________________. But when ___________________, ______'s ____ is jeopardized, for ______ ___________________.

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Impossible Scenarios

Monday, December 7


My characters are almost always getting captured and my current RD is no exception. The only problem with that is figuring out how to get them rescued.

I explained my dilemma to a friend and outlined the circumstances of their capture. He raised he eyebrow and said, "That's impossible."
When I think back on it, he's right. There is no possible solution. So I'm going to have to change it up a bit.

"If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts"
~Albert Einstein

I'm gonna try to make his prison a little less, well, indestructible.

But the point of all this is that I've found out that not every scenario is possible. Sometimes you've got to tweak things to make them doable.

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Motive

Friday, December 4


My current (incomplete) rough draft is chock-full of plot holes, the majority of them being a lack of motive.

Why does the bad guy do what they do?
Why does the protagonist (good guy) go out of his way to attack the antagonist?
Why do the other character's help? Why?

The only thing I can really do at this point is sit around and think up solutions. But this usually leads to more questions.
Do they do it out of guilt?
Because they're angry?
Did the bad guy have a bad childhood?
What's in it for the other characters if they help? Do they do it out of honor? Love?

It's one of those things that only the author can figure out, but hopefully the above questions will get you jump-started if you're stuck (like me).

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