Monday, February 09, 2009

What's the DEL?

First Draft Sprint Report - I made my goal of 100 pages in a week. Whoo hoo!

Now, let me say again, in case anybody thinks this means I'm over a quarter of the way finished my book, this is the first draft only. There will be more complete drafts (three at the very least), because what I write at this point is, I have realized, just DEL:

Dialogue -- much dialogue. It's like every scene is an impromptu theater piece. Which is fine. I'll probably keep quite a bit of it.

Emotion -- big emotions. Anger, passion, frustration, curiosity, shame, regret. There is certainly internal monologue, because I also tend to tell, not show, the emotional process of my characters at this point. Some of this will get cut, because it's not exactly subtle.

Location - almost like signposts, or what you might find in a screenplay. Drawing Room, night. Carriage, interior, day. Some description of rooms, furnishings and clothing, but very little. Some description of activity, but mostly moving around the location. Again, nothing particularly small or subtle.

I'm sure this draft will be short. Basically, I'm building my house, but it will still need some renovation and much decoration when it's done.

Many authors go back and renovate and redecorate each room (scene) as they go; that's why when they say they've written 100 pages, they mean they're over one quarter through the complete process. I don't work that way, though, and that's why if somebody asks me how much I write a day, my answer would be pretty meaningless. For instance, I can spend hours on three pages that were written weeks before.

But I must say, I'm really liking this First Draft Sprint approach. No obsessing about what I've just written, just looking ahead to what comes next. Getting the words down, letting my characters say whatever comes into their (my) head. It's fun, it's fast, it's...pure, in a way writing with an editor, agent or even your readers is not. It's just me and my people, doing our thing, without the taint or weight of wondering what anybody else will think.

That said, I'll be very interested to find out how much revision I wind up doing.

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