I finished a first draft today.
This is the one that I started around the same time I started this blog, the one that I was all enthused about because I was going to throw caution to the wind, do no planning for, and just spill it out onto the page.
It still took longer than expected.
That can often be the way for me with writing. I have this dream of me sitting at my laptop, my brain in the perfect writing space, getting lost in the words, and emerging with some amazing, finished product ready to go. A dream is all it is. Even with me lowering my inhibitions and consciously allowing myself to write with as little planning and forethought as my inner perfectionist self will allow, the actual writing still comes with second guessing, new ideas, and the desire to edit what few words I have written before writing more. I managed to clamp down on most of that for this first draft by repeating the mantra ‘save it for the second draft’ to myself over and over again.
Saying all that I love my first draft. It’s an absolute mess, but, like a dog who looks up at you with nothing but joy after rolling around in mud (and who knows what else), I love it all the more for it. It needs buckets of work, but I feel confident that, after I wash off all the mud (and shit), underneath I’ll find an adorable pooch I’m happy to share with the world. As mentioned I already have a bunch of new ideas, knowledge of scenes to move around, and various other edits ready to implement, but it feels damn good to have the bulk of the work done, and, surprisingly, for it to be looking and sounding somewhat like what I wanted it to.
I’m planning to get stuck into the second draft straight away, mostly because I already have a google doc with a long dot point list of changes (not least of which is fixing basic spelling and grammar, seriously, it’s a mess). I also need to do some research for this second draft. The plot involves a fictional research centre, and while I do work as a scientist by day, I still did little to no research for this first draft. I may even have invented some science in order to advance my plot, and, while sci-fi does allow a bit of make believe, I’d prefer to back up as much of my science as I can. Plus I’m hoping research will give me some new ideas and possibly even cooler stuff to include in my script.
After I finish this second draft (which really feels like first draft-version 2.0) my plan is to share it with my writing confidants, get their feedback, and then probably shelve it for a month or two. At which point I’ll hopefully look at it with fresh eyes, which combined with the feedback I expect to get, should make for a strong third draft.
In the meantime I have a number of other projects I’m excited to get my teeth stuck into, some of which I have already started for the benefit of having multiple projects on the go in case I get stuck with one.
And that’s probably enough of me talking about myself.
I’ll share one quick thing with you today. It’s this trailer for an upcoming movie called Kubo and the Two Strings. I’m very excited about this one. The story looks full of some great fantasy and epic scenes, and amazingly is done all in stop motion. It’s made by the team of artistic geniuses that brought Neil Gaiman’s Coraline to the big screens, which is enough for me to buy a ticket for it right now. Check it out for yourself below.