Friday, May 04, 2007

How I Write

I've continued to push on, making almost no use of the previous version. I've less than 600 words so far, but I think they're good ones. They're certainly better than the ones that preceded them.

What I've been able to put together is this: The method of composition that works best for me is to blat out a draft, put it aside for awhile, and then revise from scratch. I got lucky with a couple of chapters in the first half of Drayton, and only had to do some minor polishing on the first drafts, but those proved to be the exceptions. As I look back over the 33 years I've been writing seriously, that's always been the way. At least it has for the stuff that worked the best.

I think this method allows me to deal with all the mundane stuff--what happens next and where, who's there, what do they look and sound like--so that I don't have to later. On the second draft, I can concentrate on how the words sound coming off the page and provide the depth and shading that most likely were missing from the original version.

This is a method that is not well-suited to the digital age, but that's no matter. And, at the end of the day, I have to do things in a manner that makes sense to me and not to any other.

At 47, after 33 years, I'm still learning about how I do this. Maybe that's a clue as to why I can't ever give writing up.