When we first think about something to write, whether it’s a new book idea, a short story, or even a paper for school, we need to be able to be free to write without worrying about where a comma goes or if you have a run on sentence. Just write. Freely let your hand write out those thoughts on paper or into the computer.
This is where our creative juices flow. Freely from our minds to the paper below us. I love that time. None of it may make sense when I’m done, but in that moment it sure did feel good. Then once you are all said and done, then you can go back and edit it. Add in that missing word, or comma, or correct the miss spelled word.
The whole point of writing is that it should feel good while you’re doing it. Whereas, if all you’re doing is correcting every little thing as you go along the way, it becomes a job instead of your best friend.
I found a book this past week that immediately got my attention that falls inline with what I’ve been talking about here. It seems that almost from the moment we start to write fiction and get feedback in return we’re told to show and not tell. Then I ran into this book. The title: Tell, Don’t Show. What? What do you mean tell and not show. That made no sense. So of course I did the Amazon Look Inside feature to check out this book. And I was amazed at what I found out.
Simply put, it tells you just what I said above. When you are writing your initial draft, that first draft, don’t worry about showing anything. Tell it all. Don’t worry about grammar. Don’t worry about run-ons. Say the person is angry instead of showing how he is. Do all those things we know should be in our book in that first draft to just get our story down. Then when that first draft is complete, we start that edit process and then we can start to worry about making some beautiful prose out of the draft we created. Can you imagine how much quicker you could write that first draft if all you worried about was just getting it down on paper (or on computer screen).
What I found interesting is that the in-depth outline was more or less like a first draft than an outline. I did a lot of telling, as you can imagine. I felt so free doing it. It took me about a week and a half and I had a 20,000 word outline for my story. I know, that may sound like a lot of words for an outline, but that’s what works for me. However, after reading through this very quick read I found that what I was doing more than anything else was creating a working first draft. That’s kind of kewl that I fell into doing this without even knowing it.
So, try it one time. Allow yourself to be free to just tell your story that first time through and see what happens. I’d love to hear how it worked for you if you try it. Here’s the link to the book if you are interested: http://www.amazon.com/Tell-Dont-Show-James-Lofquist-ebook. I’d love to know if you get the book and what you think about it.