The Wonderful World of … Drafting?

It’s been a looong time since I posted about drafting. Let me check … yep, part 3 of my It’s Just a First Draft series posted on Nov. 6, 2013, so just over a year. It feels like much longer ago that I was drafting CATCH HIM BY DISGUISE, probably because I really took my time revising and going through several rounds of readers before I started querying. I was determined not to query that sucker too soon. But back to today’s topic … drafting.

So here’s the thing: I’m generally on the side of loving revising and hating drafting. I think it’s because when I’m drafting I can’t yet see how everything’s going to fit together. It’s like a big puzzle with a bunch of missing pieces, and I just want them all to be there already so I can put them together. I was especially concerned going into this new project because my planning was all over the place. You see, I have a process. Yep, I’ve blogged about that, too. (See my Before the Draft series.) I’m a little bit anal about my processes, a trait I’ve unfortunately passed on to my son (sorry, kid). So when I kept jumping around–ooh, character sketch, oh, now let’s research a place, wait, I need to jot down these scene ideas–I was seriously concerned about how the drafting itself would go.

Now, I’m only 18,000 words in, but I’ve been–gasp!–enjoying it. This manuscript is flowing out in a way nothing I’ve written in the past has. I don’t mean that my fingers are just typing along without pause. There are definitely moments when I have to sit and think about what comes next, but it also keeps surprising me–especially since until about two days before I started drafting I was still struggling with who the main character really was. I just couldn’t figure her out, mainly because to work in the plot I’d set up for her, she has to think very differently than I would. So that’s been interesting. I have a boy POV, too, and I’ve been shocked at some of the things coming out in his voice as I’m writing. He’s kind of angry. And I’m going to have to get creative with his language because cursing is something I won’t have in my writing for my own personal reasons, but I’ll figure out how to make it authentic for him. Anyway, moving on.

The other thing that’s different this time is I keep getting ideas that I have to email myself when I’m getting ready for bed at night or out shopping or wherever. That’s usually a revision, problem-solving thing for me. But it’s happening at the drafting stage instead, and on the plus side, they’re generally ideas for things I haven’t written yet. So, that makes me even more excited to keep drafting. Problem-solving in advance!

I might hit a wall tomorrow, so I’ll just bask in the glow today. But I really hope this is a turning point. It would be lovely to start loving drafting in addition to revising :).

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