Happy Thanksgiving and First Draft Follies

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who is celebrating today and I hope your turkey isn’t too dry. 😉

Now that I’ve done my bit for the holiday, let’s move on to the main event: a discussion about working on that wonderful beast known as The First Draft.

The First Draft of any story is literally the first iteration of your creation. It’s the baby that forms with all the flaws, defects, flecks of beauty, and missteps that come with getting it down on paper. It’s born of passion and feeling and with time and effort can develop into a polished end result that anyone would be proud to share with the world at large.

While it would be great to skip the trials and tribulations of The First Draft, I wouldn’t advise just dashing it off and putting it out there. You only get one chance to make a good first impression and every additional minute of development time will pay off immensely in the long run. Let’s face it, very few individuals get it perfect right out of the gate and while every writer wants to believe that they will make Shakespeare’s Ghost jealous and publishers roll truckloads of cash up to their door, the reality is that every final draft of a story or novel has a trail of redrafts behind them.

Refill your coffee cup, smoke if you got em, and get that First Draft down on paper. The first stage is all about getting it finished; you can make it perfect later.

Questions and Answers

I don’t often talk about myself because I prefer to let my work speak for itself. But, as we all know, after a while of answering the same questions over and over, one must clear the air a bit. So, without further ado, let us begin:

1) Why do you write?

I write because I love it. Writing is one of those things that I’ve done as long as I can remember. I didn’t start out knowing what I was doing, but with practice and patience, I got better over time. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

2) How do you come up with your ideas?

This one doesn’t have a pat answer because my ideas come from all around me. A random thought, a conversation, something I read in the newspapers or online. Hell, I even get story ideas from dreams I’ve had. That’s the beauty of being a Storyteller; you always have more ideas than time to write them.

3) Have you had any formal education/training?

I’ve taken college-level courses in Creative Writing and Technical Writing, but the bulk of my training has been in the writing itself. The more you do it, the better you get.

4) How long have you been writing?

My earliest memories are of writing at Age 10. I’m 48 as of this article so a pretty long time. There have been short periods where I didn’t write anything, but I consider those prep times for what came after. Writing is my life.

5) Do you have any advice for new writers?

Just write and don’t care what other people think. I’ve done my best work when I was fully and passionately engaged in the creative process. There’s no magic bullet for being a writer. You sit down and create. That’s it.

6) You say that Writing is your life. Isn’t that a lonely existence?

That would depend on what you mean by “Lonely”. I’m a curious mix of Introvert and People Person so I can function in a multitude of environments. I learned early on that Peace and Quiet go a long way when it comes to Creative Writing. After all, you can’t focus your thoughts when someone else is demanding your attention. No, I don’t feel lonely because I always have me around.

7) What are your Long Term Writing Goals?

My Long-Term Writing Goals are:

A) To be the best Writer I can possibly be.

B) To create a body of work that I can be proud of.

C) To write the kind of stories that I’ve always wanted to read.

D) To inspire others to follow their passions.

8) Would you call yourself a “Struggling” Writer?

I would call myself a Writer first. While my bank accounts aren’t exactly bursting at the seams, filling them isn’t my top priority. Let’s face it, if it was about money, I could find better and easier ways to get it. Besides, I live a minimalist lifestyle and I have a day job that takes care of my basic needs.

9) Do you do a lot of research for your books?

I do what The Story demands of me. It depends on the Genre and Plot Type that I’m working within. Some require more technical research than others.

10) Where do you stand on Indie Publishing?

I publish through Amazon and Createspace so my position is that if it allows you to bring your ideas to life and share them with the world, then by all means have at it. There are many roads, but they all lead to the same destination.

Well, this has been fun and if you have any questions for me that I haven’t covered here, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

Have a great day. 🙂