I love the first draft. It’s a world of discovery. Who are these people? What are their strengths, weaknesses, fears? What things should they face that will help them become who they were always meant to be, inside and out? What kind of a world should they encounter? What internal and external forces should be working against them? What other characters should they meet that will bring out the best and worst in them and force them to change? How will the characters conquer their demons at the end, or how will they get their just desserts?
And for me, there’s always this question? Will he kiss her when he gets the girl? To which the answer is always going to be yes. (Spoiler alert.) But the question of which girl will he get–the right one or the wrong one–remains up in the air.
Because someone said, “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” Terry Pratchett, I think. Terry Pratchett would know. He’s told a lot of stories.
Today I’m working on a first draft. The last few books I’ve written, the first draft has come flying off my fingers, and I’ve cranked out the story in very little time. But this one? It’s tougher. These characters are a little more complex. They have more foibles, and the world they’re entering is going to be more foreign to them. It’s along the lines of BIG IN JAPAN. Except no sumo wrestlers, and not in Japan. But that would be fun. Someone just emailed me and asked me to do a sequel, had a bunch of ideas for plots. I wonder…
Meanwhile, this book is happening. Slowly. But the slowness is killing me. It feels like I can’t wait the six weeks this draft is going to take. I’m dying to see how it turns out.