I’m gonna let you all in on a little secret of mine. All my life, I’ve heard from writers from all across the industry from widely successful authors to independent publishing writers that the first draft is supposed to be trash. It’s only after the first draft that you pick apart what you’ve written and basically rewrite everything into a better, more cohesive story.
That’s not how I’ve written – ever.
All my published works are mostly first drafts. Instead of speed writing my way through a first draft and then fixing mistakes and changes in additional drafts, I spend a tremendous time on that first draft. I’ll spend 30 minutes trying to figure out how to word a single sentence. I’ve had such an aversion to rewriting in my life, I avoid it as much as possible. I want to get it right the first time.
I’d wager that this type of writing is what leads me to be prone to writer’s block. If I can’t get it exactly how I want it the first time, I usually just avoid writing at that point. However, I’m working on a new book now and it’s throwing me for a loop.
I’m writing my first fantasy/sci-fi story ever, and let me tell you: it’s a wild ride. It’s crazy for me because I have read very little fantasy in my life. My experience with fantasy literature is John Flanagan’s The Ranger’s Apprentice series when I was a teenager, and my all time favorite book(s), The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. I believe that my lack of time spent in fantasy worlds will lead my story to unique and strange places because I simply don’t know the common tropes of fantasy. However, at the same time, I also understand that this absence of experience will also lead to some mistakes that I otherwise wouldn’t have made if I had read The Wheel of Time, Dune, The Lies of Locke Lamora and etc.
One of the biggest effects of writing in such an unfamiliar genre, is that it’s causing me to write through mistakes. I know there is going to be a ton of stuff I need to rewrite, delete – what have you – to the story. Rather than stop writing and try to figure out the solution to every issue, I’m just writing anyway. It seems that after 6 self published books, I am finally using the same writing process as the rest of the world.
I don’t know if any of this is useful or interesting to anyone else, but I saw an excuse to update my barely active website haha. I’ll try to post here more in the future, even if it’s to get my thoughts out for my own benefit.
Come see me at Horror On Main in Hunt Valley, MD on May 26 and 27th!