Writing badly (the first draft) is like allowing myself to chaotically pencil a shaky picture.  Its purpose is to serve as a handhold for my imagination, to bring a muddy idea into hazy visibility.

Then, as I edit again and again, the sentences begin snapping together, and a rhythm becomes all too apparent.  Plot holes disappear and personalities emerge.  The choice between smooth and rough slowly becomes what clearly fits and what is completely off.

Somewhere around the middle, there comes a point where the characters begin to write themselves.

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13 thoughts on “Musings

  1. I have a hard time with writing badly. Sounds egoistic and smug but that’s not how I mean it. I just can’t seem to let it all go and just write figuring I’ll fix it in the editing phase. I want it to look good and sound good and feel good from the get-go. Kind of messes me up from time to time.
    But, like you said, at some point in my writing, the characters take on a life of their own and the story starts to write itself.
    Friends have asked me how I come up with the plots. I don’t really. I have this vague idea of where I want something to go and sometimes it actually gets there. But more often than not, I’m surprised by how it all ends up because I let the characters and their personalities determine the result.
    Anyway, I love your musings. They always edify and entertain me.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. After a lifetime in the music biz “fix it in the mix” is not my favorite option. I can let loose and jam, not every take is a winner. However, I’ve spent a lot of time working on that brain to paper move. Except dialogue. I’ll rock an entire scene with dialogue and come back to decorate. can’t get in their way when they’re talking, best I can do is keep up. As above, I can cut loose, but I hate to shit on the page just because I can. Every scene is a tapestry, and they require editing. But like fix it in the mix, the shovel is not one of my favorite tools, either.
    Permission to write junk that doesn’t work? Hell yeah, all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting insight into your creative process, Kent. Sketching out your ideas in a rough fashion then refining is hard work! Reminds me a little of mind mapping notes then transcribing them into something more cohesive. Personally, I write then avoid editing until I publish and see all my mistakes…but my writing here is for fun and release. Work is entirely different…everyone is an editor! Do you take pencil or pen to paper or is the keyboard your first sketch?

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  4. If a writer thinks their first draft is good and just needs tweaking:
    1. They’ve unconsciously plagiarised something.
    2. They are going to be awfully disappointed when they show it to a beta reader, writer’s group, editor etc.
    3. They aren’t a writer.
    (You just gotta love that fourth draft and the ‘yes’ moment)

    Liked by 3 people

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