Pam Vs. Quita is a series in which we battle it out over our writing methods and you, our lovely followers, choose the successor...or at least let us know who you agree with more. :)
Quita royally kicked Pam's hind-pots on the first installment, which was all about story ideas. Now, we're rumbling over how we get those dreaded first drafts done.
First drafts. Just typing those two words sends chills up and down my spine (or it could be I still have to ice my knee post-surgery). While, of course, I heart writing, I'm not the fan of the first draft. It takes SO much will power to shut off my internal editor and just get the damn story out.
Here's the thing--I'm not a plotter nor a panster. I'm some weird hybrid of both (plonster?). I start outlining the first few chapters of my WIP. I tend to look at each chapter like a short story--I want to make sure that there's always some kind of conflict that the protagonist is trying to overcome. If I hit a roadblock, I just start to write what I have. As looney tunes as it may sound, the characters eventually start to speak to me and steer the story the rest of the way. I then may get inspired and start outlining the remaining few chapters.
On my current WIP, I'm having trouble getting past that roadblock. So, my trusty cousin, Quita (though in this post, she shall be noted as My Ain True Enemy), downloaded the beta version of Scrivener for Windows for me. I plan on placing the scenes I've written so far on different note cards and rearranging them until I have an ah-ha moment. From there, I'll either just write or plot out the remaining few chapters. A plontser, you see. The fun stuff is with revisions, but more on that later...
First drafts are sooo annoying, but fun at the same time. I'm a little bipolar about them, I guess. And impatient. That's my biggest pet peeve about the first draft--why can't all of the plots and ideas flow out of my head as quick as I'm thinking of them? I really wish there was a way to get some of those scenes out without having to type it all. Microsoft needs to come out with a stream of consciousness word program--the words appear as you think them!
But, I digress. How do I write my first draft? I don't really have an interesting answer to this. It's very simple: I just get it all out. I have my ideas outlined (for the most part) and then I just type it all up. As I go along, I change things and then my outline gets all scratched and ugly, but that's okay :) That's what programs like Scrivener are for--it's about time for me to give up the paper and pencil method, I suppose. So, my first drafts are usually just "dumped" out for lack of a better word. I don't self-edit, I just type it all and I worry about changing things later.
Okay that's Round 2? Who's the victor this week??