It’s usually agreed there are two kinds of writers. First are those who blaze through an initial draft with minimal planning and editing, powered by a passion that lets the ideas keep flowing—or so I understand the process. Then there are writers like me who plot and think and second-guess and polish (and despair) and who refuse to move on until the base is solid.
So in the latest project, which is a short piece outside of any genre I’ve worked in before, I decided to be the other kind of writer, the one who just writes. I did cheat a bit. I had a pretty decent outline of the intended work to guide me. But from there it was a matter of throwing words down, and when the words didn’t come I went to Write or Die, and punched out brainstorming dialog until I had some ideas to work with.
Was it a helpful process?
Well, yes, up to a point. I got three-quarters of the story down in what for me qualifies as a very short time. But then I hit a wall. When it came time to link up the plot threads and write a coherent, meaningful climax and conclusion, I couldn’t do it. The base was not solid. The story had changed en route. I desperately needed to go back and re-define the theme, the motivation, the goal. So that’s what I’m doing now, and after that I’ll tackle the ending.
But the work was not wasted. I’m guessing 80% of what I’ve got will still be there when this next draft is done. And writing fast was actually a lot of fun.