fantasy · Short Story · work in progress · Writing

Bird by Bird: Shitty First Drafts

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott has a whole section on Shitty First Drafts. Really, this whole concept is freeing. First drafts are always shitty! The thing to do is push past my own shuddering at the shittiness of the first draft. Because it is not as if I am not aware of how bad it is (i. e. the third scene in the dragon short story). I have to resist all temptation to rewrite now because it is not done yet; if I start the rewrite now, I will never be done. I can always rewrite later.

Okay, so I have known for a while now that no one gets it right the first time. But reading this little chapter on Shitty First Drafts is reassuring. I feel badly in need of reassurance just now, as I attempt to ignore the shittiness and go on with the next part. All first drafts are shitty! All!

work in progress · Writing

Bird by Bird: Plot Treatment

During yesterday’s perusal of Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, on page 85 (yes, I own a dead tree copy of this book) the following line jumped out at me: “On the other hand, in lieu of a plot you may find that you have a sort of temporary destination, perhaps a scene that you envision as the climax.”

This has little to do with the short story WiP, but rather a lot more to do with the novel WiP.  I know something of its ending (bittersweet) and some of the scenes in the middle, the ones I saw in my head when this story first appeared in my head, those are clearer. This line from Bird by Bird is a minor epiphany, more like a reassurance of what I am already doing. Sometimes, during the bad days, I need reassurance that my storytelling instincts are not entirely off. I will just continue working my way toward the scenes I can see clearly and hopefully the end will come together more clearly at some point.