Sunday, September 13, 2015

Shitty First Draft

by Kristi Belcamino

My kids are back in school and while I love it, I also hate it.

For me, the start of the school year means a brand new book. This has been my routine since my kid started kindergarten five years ago and I wrote my first book, Blessed are the Dead, the first in my series featuring crime reporter Gabriella Giovanni.

Since then I've made it a fall tradition. Start from scratch.

In the past it is has been fairly easy, but this fall I'm starting a stand alone novel that has nothing to do with my series. I'm pushing myself harder than I ever have before and it is scary.

Thank God for the wise words of Anne Lamott or I'd never write a word.

She gives us permission to write a Shitty First Draft.

And after I read that, I gave myself permission to write a Shitty First Draft. It's the only way anything gets written. At least by me.

It usually takes me three to four months to write that SFD and then if I'm lucky I get to spend about that same amount of time polishing her and making her shiny and pretty.

When people ask how I combat writer's block, I say I don't ever get it because I allow myself to write a SFD. If you are stuck and having a tough time putting words on the page, I highly recommend you give yourself permission to write a SFD. You won't regret it. Especially when you type those most glorious words "The End."


Dana King said...

Absolutely. Get whatever you can in the hard drive. You can even treat it as notes for the "real" drafts that are to come. I, too, have never had anything I'd remotely consider to be writer's block, and I think this, in addition to my fondness for outlines, is why.

Al Tucher said...

I wish I could remember who said that this is the difference between an amateur and a professional. The amateur has half of a flawless draft, while the professional has a complete piece of shit to beat into shape.

Dana King said...

I like that a lot, and will credit Al Tucher anytime I use it.

Al Tucher said...

Works for me, Dana. I gave up shame when I started writing.

Kristi said...

Ha! I love that!