Blessed be! Welcome to the second entry in my drafting series. This one’s probably going to be quite short, to be honest. There’s not a whole lot for me to say about my drafting process except that I really really hate it. Have I mentioned it’s my least favorite part of the process?
Anyway, moving on. Now that I’ve got the basic idea of the story in my head and some rough specifics figured out, it’s time to actually get the first draft on the screen. I wish there were an easier way to do this, but there really isn’t. So what I rely on is the BICHOK mantra: Butt in Chair; Hands on Keyboard.
Depending on my mood, the current story, and what’s going on in my non-writing life, there are several ways I get my words done in the day. Either way, I try to do a little every day when I’m actively drafting.
The first is that I set a minimum wordcount goal for the day, usually between 500 and 1500. Usually, I do this all in one fell swoop. I put on my headphones to create what I call the bubble, start writing, and do not move from my seat until the words for the night are done.
This worked well for my first two projects or so. The next few, not so much. I stopped having enough time to hit that word goal or I would start feeling lost or disheartened in the middle. In those cases, instead of a word goal, I tried to focus on doing just one scene, no matter how long or short. It often ended up being the exact same amount of progress in terms of words, but telling my brain that I was doing something different made it more bearable.
Of course, sometimes even that isn’t enough. On days like that, I have to break out the big guns. Or, rather, the small ones. Instead of doing one big burst of words, I’ll break it into mini-sessions of just 2-300 words. Just one page. That’s not bad! And then I’ll make myself do two or three of those sessions a day.
At the end of the day, it amounts to about the same amount of work, about the same time spent staring at the screen. Because, no matter what method I use, nothing is going to write this story except for putting my hands on the keyboard and my butt in the chair.