Amber Skye Forbes

Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes

The Madness of the First Draft

Part of Stolentime.

Part of Stolentime.

I hate the concept of the rough draft. I hate that rough drafts are, by nature, rough and prone to innate crappiness. I love writing, but I hate writing rough drafts because revision ideas are already floating through my brain by the time I’m done with a chapter. I’m able to move on, but it doesn’t take away the fact that I really want to get to the revisions because that’s when things really become fun for me.

What exactly do I do to prepare for a first draft? Well, first I get the idea and let it stew for a week, pretty much being the character and playing out various scenarios in my head. If I can’t let go of the idea, I start to outline each chapter with a rough summary. I never used to outline. I’d just go by the seat of my pants; however, outlines keep everything in order for me and make revision notes that much easier to come up with. And as I’ve said before, outlines prevent writer’s block for me.

Then I just start writing. As I’m writing Stolentime, I’ve been very surprised with what I’ve naturally come up with that isn’t in the outline. The outline is guiding me, my story is going in the direction that the outline has it going in, but I’ve invented scenes I didn’t plan out, and that has been incredibly fun and surprising for me. It makes the drafting process more bearable, but still, I really want to get to the revisions. This story has a lot of promise and doing the revision outline will really bring everything together.

So I have been drafting a chapter a day, or have been trying to. In fact, I should probably be doing two since there is still daylight left to burn when I finish with one. I’ll get that much closer to revisions. I plan to finish the draft some time next month and hopefully have it revised before school starts. Then I’ll give it to my beta reader and see what happens from there. I know I’ve only mentioned Stolentime and haven’t really spoken of what it’s about. Well, this is the post where I’ll finally do that.

I have a vanity charm necklace that I will be using on the cover. Not this one though.

I have a vanity charm necklace that I will be using on the cover. Not this one though.

Gene White is a suicidal teen with treatment-resistant depression. Believing he is untreatable, his attempts to drown himself fail when Claude, a puppeteer and doll maker, rescues him from his suicide attempt. He decides to take Gene on as an apprentice and teaches him through bizarre and terrifying adventures that there is value to all life, including Gene’s.

So this is the story that I am working on at the moment. While the draft sucks (because don’t they all?), the story is coming together rather nicely, even though there are elements of it that will need major tweaks, like obvious inconsistencies I haven’t cared to fix.

Also, don’t forget to check out the Coraline book giveaway going on! The post is here. You must leave a comment to be entered and be a follower. Simply liking the post will not put you in the raffle. This will go on until I have my 230th follower, and then I will draw a name from the comments’ section. If you want this drawing to happen soon, share, Tweet, reblog, whatever.

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One comment on “The Madness of the First Draft

  1. Holistic Wayfarer
    May 10, 2013

    A post or a series I’ve had simmering in the head is a poll…on writers in their process. I think I’ll touch base again. I like the stolentime photo.

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