typewriter

I finished the first draft of my Welsh story!

First drafts, particularly really rough initial drafts like this one currently is, are as much about what isn’t there as what is.

At the start you have the notion of a plot, or a story, or of themes you want to explore. You have some characters. Maybe you’ve got some brilliant looking dialogue that came to you at an inopportune moment and you had to scribble down frantically. But you don’t know how everything will coalesce until you attempt to get it down on paper. It might be that it all falls apart within a few pages of writing, that flaws you’d masked by your enthusiasm for this NEW IDEA, suddenly become horribly and insurmountably apparent.

Or you might end up with something that might possibly, if you work on it hard, turn out to be good.

That’s where I am right now.

It’s a long short story (about 12,000 words, I’d guess) and at the moment it’s quite shapeless, but I can see that a good shape is somewhere within reach. I have the characters, I think. (Even a major character who wasn’t there in my scribbled synopsis and just burst her way into the narrative.) But the dialogue is rubbish and will need to be completely rewritten. I also haven’t got the tone right. It needs to be more sardonic, to have a kind of dark humour that gets so close to the bone it’s nearly snapping the damn thing in half.

There’s a lot there that has to be changed, a lot that has to be done. Yet I think I can see how to do it. Sometimes a first draft is so far away from the great story/book you envisaged in your mind as to leave you feeling hopeless. But that definitely isn’t the case here. I think I can see a way to make this damn good, and that cheers me immensely.

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