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I had this spontaneous proclamation last Saturday evening. Well, more a spontaneous thought that I had earlier in the afternoon that I then found myself actually proclaiming out loud, much to my surprise. Surprise because what I proclaimed really is anti-Me where writing is concerned.

I asked my GF to read the first draft of my new story as I wrote it.

Now, I am not anywhere near ready to write it, but it is SOOOO anti-Me to have anyone read a first draft. I need the freedom to screw up mightily, take shortcuts with promissory notes to come back and finish something later, ramble until I figure out what my point is, and write stuff out of sequence.

The thing is, after my experience writing The Destroyer, I also see the value of throwing out a story piece by piece, seeing peoples' reactions, then slowly letting the story evolve as I develop each new chapter. The motivating thing about having (a) reader(s) is that you have this external motivation to give the first draft your best effort and get it done, and I sort of need that external motivation to really get this thing moving.

In the meantime, I am still working on figuring out what the story is going to be about, developing my characters, and doing my world-building and mythology-weaving. And I'm doing it by writing actual prose words. Still happily contradicting myself, writing out of sequence, and leaving many bits as promissory notes, just like I need to do. As soon as the Sculptor finishes reading TD, though, it will be time to start sending her this story.

Before anyone asks, though (assuming they would), I am only going to let her read this first draft. Because this is not about feedback/constructive criticism, it's about lighting the fire under my ass to get the story written. And I know she will limit herself to questions if she has them, a minor comment here and there, and embarrasingly effusive praise.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 19th, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC)
hopefully this will be helpful for you. You and i have talked about this several times before so i know it's anti-you. I'm on the other end of the spectrum, flinging the stuff in everyone's face. READ ME.

What I have learned, is just what you said about The Destroyer. People see stuff that you might be too close to see or just plain see it in a different way. This is why when i'm stuck I like to get on IM to talk it out with friends. I hope this ends up helpful for you
Feb. 19th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
Well, I am not looking for constructive feedback of any kind. I am just looking for a cheerleader.
Feb. 19th, 2011 07:36 pm (UTC)
cheerleading is always a help
Feb. 19th, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)
It works wonders. It did writing TD.
Feb. 19th, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC)
that's the other reason I put stuff up on my filter. even if you guys don't offer criticism, just the hey i like this, is a big help in boosting me enough to continue
Feb. 19th, 2011 11:10 pm (UTC)
I'm not ready to have other writers look at my stuff. Maybe a third or fourth draft, but not the first.
Feb. 20th, 2011 04:07 am (UTC)
yeah I know. my path is different. I prefer to put up the 2nd since i probably have barely had time to spellcheck the first but I'll put that out if need be
Feb. 19th, 2011 03:32 pm (UTC)
It will force you to be more organized from the beginning. I hope it works well for you!
Feb. 19th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
Yes, the forced organization is one of the reasons for doing it.
Feb. 19th, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
And I know she will limit herself

This is good, especially since sharing drafts is hard. Those boundaries will serve you well, and the effusive praise will be motivating. Win win!
Feb. 19th, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
I have found sharing drafts with writing-group type acquaintances next to impossible. You'd think with semi-strangers you'd be able to distance yourself from comments that are constructively negative, but mostly I find they just don't get what I'm trying to do because they haven't read it closely enough. And vice-versa the other way around. With TD readers, they were invested in the story and were reading closely enough for me to take into consideration what they said. The same is true with a writing coach, although I never gave a rough draft to a writing coach, only the fourth draft.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )