Think about it, talk about it, write about it

Hi everyone,

I often tell kids that writing the first draft is easier if they prepare for it by thinking about what they want to say and then practicing the story aloud before they sit down to write the words. I’ve used the approach myself so I know it can work. This is especially true when the writing is memory-based.

I’ve been carrying a story in my head for several days and working out the scenes the way I thought they should go. During drive times I began to tell myself the story until it felt right. Two mornings ago I sat down and wrote the whole thing in a little over two hours.

I’m sure that I’ll make changes when I can get back to it. I already know that I need a different ending. But the basic framework is sound. I’ll tuck it away and one of these days I’ll pull it out and see where it goes. The nice thing is that most of the major revisions already took place in my head where it’s much easier to make changes than after I commit the words to paper.

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6 comments on “Think about it, talk about it, write about it

  1. I, on the other hand, need to see it set down before I can begin the changes, especially since I have so many ideas in an hour, I cant remember them unless I capture them on a page. Different writing strokes for different writing folks. We should have a button. Or a bumper sticker.

    • Jane, your mind travels far and wide in sixty minutes so I’ve no doubt that you need to capture a few of them as they whizz around that marvelous brain. I think the button would be a good idea.

  2. Riding on the discussion above, I think it’s imperative for beginning writers to try every and all methods so they can decide on what works best for them and get on with telling the story. 🙂

    • Yup. What works for one won’t necessarily work for another. We need to give them plenty of opportunities to discover the fun and challenges of writing.

  3. Best wishes with your story, David. I think my method is somewhere between yours and Jane’s. I find that once I conceive of the basic premise, I need to spend some time banging it around in my head to get a better feel for it and to at least nail down a more concrete plan…perhaps an opening or closing. But then I need to start writing in order to pull it all together – and i’m one of those who cannot move forward unless every word is right, every punctuation mark is correct, and every sentence is grammatical. I know the general rule is to get it down on paper first before editing, but I just can’t! Consequently, my first draft more often feels like a 5th or 6th draft because everything that has already been written goes through a revision process before I can continue!

    • Three writers, three approaches to getting it done. Thanks for your input, Matt. It takes a lot of voices to make a choir.

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