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Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Writing Process: Act 4


Nothing snappy to say before the post. La-di-da.

How Sara Writes: A Play In Multiple Acts

ACT FOUR: Secondly, an Edit

Our protagonist, Sara, sits cross-legged before Big Red Desk, looking thoughtfully at PC.
Sara: *cracks knuckles* Draft One, done. And I daresay it ROCKS.

Fast-forward three hours to Sara, now sitting on the floor beside Big Red Desk with PC in her lap. Her thoughtfulness has been replaced with wide-eyed, frizzle-haired shock.
Sara: Who. Wrote. THAT? Not me. No. MY story was-- good. It was brilliant. It FLOWED. That-- that just-- that was-- no. Not me. Nope. There's been some mistake. Some terrible, invasion of the story snatchers mistake. Justice must be served! There's a kidnapped story somewhere out there, lonely and cold and needing to come back home to me--

Story: *singing* Sa-a-ra

Sara: *jumps and stares even wider-eyed at PC* Y-yes? Story?

Story: Don't abandon me, Sara. I'll be a good story. I promise. I just need some help, see? I don't know how to be a good story! I can barely walk on my own two MC's. And I can't even use my story threads to eat without spilling unresolved plots all over myself! Help me, Sara? Please?

Sara: *softening* Ah. Well, when you put it like that...

Sara leans over PC and begins typing.

Story: Thank you, Sara. You won't regret it.

The orchestra strikes up an ominous, dark tune that leaves the audience wondering if what Story said wasn't as jolly and positive as it may have sounded...

Once the first draft is done, I'm always under the misguided perception that it is awesome. Then I read it, freak out, and go into a holy-crap-what-did-I-DO coma. But once that passes (and it usually passes pretty quick) editing is my favorite part of the writing process. Patching up the loose ends. Tweaking the irkes. Beating down the bumps. I'm an undiagnosed OCD-er, so editing everything is like my heaven. It's basically cleaning in an already clean atmosphere; tidying up a black-and-white Word doc. We've already established my insanity, so this should come as no shock.


11 comments:

Mariah Irvin said...

Ha, this story character reminds me of Gollum.

Forgive me, I've been in one of my LOTR kicks lately.

Renee Collins said...

Since I was out of town, I missed this amusing series until now. However, I'm glad I've caught up. :)

I think you and I are rather similar in the way we write. Especially with the note making at first, and the agonizing over the beginnings.

Fun stuff. :)

P.S. The P&P and Notebook trailers? I was laughing out loud. And thinking, wow that took someone a lot of time.

Natalie Whipple said...

You are so funny! I feel that same way. Editing has become one of my favorite things.

Jade said...

Dude, it was probably the evil first draft leprechauns. They are always stealing my beautiful first drafts and leaving me word vomit in their place. One day I'll catch them. One day.

Adam Heine said...

"I can barely walk on my own two MC's."

Love this line.

I used to hate editing. It's starting to grow on me.

Hayley said...

Editing is growing on me, Sara your patience is rubbing off. I still scream when I think about the grammar but I'm pretty sure I've got most of it down. And Sara have I told you I love this series.

Julie Dao said...

Watch out for Story, he sounds like a heartbreaker...

ElanaJ said...

ROTFL about the "holy-crap-what-did-I-DO coma"! That pretty much sums it up.

Carrie Harris said...

I'm just jealous that your story sings to you. Mine just b*tches all the time.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Yeah, that "misguided perception that it is awesome" would be me. I do write fantasy after all. Can't I cling to the dream that I'm awesome?

sraasch said...

Mariah -- I think I've had Gollum on the brain too...I was talking to my puppy in a Gollum-esque voice for whatever reason today. She didn't like it.

Renee -- I can't imagine how long it took those people...getting all the clips and aligning them to the
trailer voice-over...I applaud them.

Natalie -- Thanks :)

Jade -- "Word vomit" gives such a vivid mental picture...

Adam -- It does grow on you -- I started out disliking it too. I find it slightly relaxing now.

Hayley -- Glad I could help ;)

Julie -- He has broken my heart many times, yet I keep letting him back in. I'm a sucker for those big brown settings and sweet-talking dialogue.

Elana -- "Coma" sums a lot of the writing process, actually...haha

Carrie -- Oh, it only sings when it wants something. Don't be too jealous.

Solvang -- Exactly! We must cling to our own fantasies as fantasy writers. It'd be hypocritical if we didn't.