Tuesday, May 5, 2009
First Draft VS Rewriting
R&D Studio artwork. Just for fun.
I find rewriting fun. First draft is hard work. It's scary because I set off with an idea and a couple of characters ... and that's it. The story grows.
One of the lists I'm on has been debating the differences between being a Pantser and Plotter.
Plotters plan the whole book beforehand and can write chapter ten before they do chapter four. I can't imagine writing like that. I'm a Pantser (Seat of the Pants writer). I find out what's going on as the characters do. It makes writing the book exciting but hard work, because I'm constantly interrupted by my family, so I have to keep characters, world and narrative threads fresh in my mind over months.
By the time I get around to the rewriting, I can relax and thread through the character layers and subtleties that I look for when I read books. Without a deadline, the temptation is to keep rewriting for ever.
Having worked on some very long multi book narratives now, the only way I can keep it all straight in my head is to create a scene by scene breakdown in a separate document. Then, if I want to insert a character clue in a particular scene, I can find that scene without having to scroll through the document looking for it. I create maps, lists of terms and their meanings, character descriptions (did minor character X have a broken nose?) and I keep spare deleted scenes in a file. Obsessive Compulsive?
I think to be a creative person in any field you have to be a little bit obsessive. In the nicest possible way.