A Semi-polished Rough Draft of Chapter 3: Done!

Every writer has a different way of attacking a project.  I like to write scenes by hand in a cafe first.  I follow Natalie Goldberg’s strategy that she shared in her book, WRITING DOWN THE BONES.  This is my shortened adaptation of her technique.  I go to a local coffee shop like the Main Street Beanery in Zeeland and buy a  mocha.  That is how I rent one of their tables for a few hours.  As much as I love my laptop, it stays home because it holds too many distractions with Wi-fi and so on.  Then I begin to write following Goldberg’s instruction to keep the hand moving at all times.  That’s when my characters start talking to each other.  While I’ll fine tune these conversations as I bring together what I call a semi-polished rough draft, the basic flow of the dialogue usually stays in. 

When possible, I like typing these scribbled scenes into the computer on the same day that I’ve written them.  That’s when I can all the internal editor to say some of the things that I suppressed during the writing session.  These scenes are mostly dialogue at this point although there will be some fragments of action and description.  I can almost guarantee that I won’t have a single transition.  I find them enormously difficult to write. 

After writing my script, I put my inner cinematographer to work. She’s one of the weakest links on my project’s design team, so I help her along with photos and films.  For this latest project, I’ve also been watching Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, which is set in a similar time period.  I hope to rent AMADEUS someday because that really fits the setting for this fantasy: late 18th century Vienna.  I worked in details about the thick glass and the floorplans of townhouses.  And here’s where I follow the advice of Sharon Darrow, who suggested in a lecture that writers  choose details that the character responds to. She also recommended not expecting too much too soon from a draft.  I try to take that to heart. Unfortunately for my productivity levels, I usually have to bring things to a certain level in order to know what my character has thought and experienced before I move on.  And that point is what I call the semi-polished rough draft.   

I already have quite a bit of dialogue written already for Chapter 4 from a cafe session. Now it’s time to build the scenes and pound out a few effective transitions that will get Katrin from point A to point F after stops at points B, C, D and E.

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