Draft 0

Adam Christopher’s blog today has a great piece of writing advice. I’ll let you go there and read it, since I think more people ought to be aware of his excellent web presence and made to salivate over the imminent printing of his first novel. Go, go, I’ll wait.

So yeah, get some clay on the wheel. Get draft 0 down, the raw ooze from which you can claw a structure and frame of a decent story from. Now, this is great advice in principle, and something that I suspect all writers have to learn to do. It is, of course, also bloody hard if you are someone like myself. To wit, a perfectionist.

Those that know me outside of the internet are probably laughing right now, so I should amend that. I am a critic; an unashamedly vociferous and dedicated critic. It makes me someone not to watch films with (or so I have repeatedly been told), but it also makes getting draft 0 thrown down harder than it could be. I cannot let something that I know is naff stick on a page; it nags at me, clawing at my subconscious until I go back and fix it. Its something that I have been trying to ween myself away from, to accept that “yes, its bad now, but only we can see it, so lets move on and fix it later”. Writing with the door closed to both other people and my own sense of self-criticism, as it were.

I actually think I have been making strides in this, but I am having trouble discerning whether this is due to my standards slipping when I know I’m working on draft 0, or I am actually getting better as a writer. I certainly know that¬† the projects that I have returned to from, say, a few weeks ago, suck far less than those that I had laid down draft 0 for a year ago. So, let’s hope that this signifies progress.

On a more relevant tangent, I am going to be sending the Harbinger submission out to beta-readers this evening. I have a different, smaller, set of beta-readers for my Warhammer stuff, simply because while I try to keep my Warhammer accessible to the newbie, at this stage I need people who know the IP. Over the weekend I am going to hammer into shape my other short story submission, currently titled either The Emperor’s Peace or Peace in Death. I am leaning towards the former (which means that is what I called the Scrivener project file this afternoon – and yes, I will talk about Scrivener in the near future. In short, its rather good). I’m sure you will find out how that goes.

What else… Not much, to be honest. I am becoming aware that while my blogging regularity has increased, the interest of its content has not (rather like switching to a high-fibre diet). I will work on this, and hopefully start planning posts, rather than just spamming them out in the quiet spots during work (not that I am doing that now… at ten to five on a Thursday afternoon…). My website should begin to receive attention from my good friend Joe Green sometime soon, so in an indeterminate period of time this blog should be moving to a much prettier address, so keep an eye out for that.

So, later’s y’all. Keep working the clay o/