Inspired by a little thought that trickled through my mind while reading a comment to my previous post, it really got me to thinking about what writing a first draft is REALLY like- at least for me.
Fellow Kentucky Romance Writer Amy Durham said "I don't want to nit-pick on the first draft. That's when the writing is so fun, and all I want to do is just WRITE!"
So you might ask, what is writing that first draft of a novel like?
For me- It feels like the first time.
The beginnings of a whirlwind romance. The first time your hand meets his by accident and ZING goes your heartstrings. That first kiss, that first touch, the first time you make love to the man you know your heart belongs to, who's heart belongs to you.
I know it's the romantic in me who sees this comparison as completely plausible. I don't fall in love from my head- I fall in love from my heart, so it makes sense that when I write, I do the same. I write freely, without worrying about the nit-picking of my internal editor. At least I try my best not to, because writing that first draft IS fun and exciting and it moves me in ways I never dreamt possible. So in that respect- it's very much like falling in love for the very first time.
The story seems to rise up like the first tingling embers of a gentle caress and it spreads through you like wildfire, igniting passion and desire and the need to take things to the next level. And when you're caught up in that moment in time, looking deeply into the eyes- searching the heart and soul, of someone (or in the case of a first draft- something) you love with your entire being, you give yourself over to living in those moments and experiencing it, tasting it, feeling it. You let your inhibitions go and give yourself over to learning to trust what you feel and allowing your heart to lead you where it may.
In a love relationship, especially a new love, you don't critique every first touch or kiss or embrace. You don't find fault with your beloved. It's new and you want to see where it will go- how long it will last and whether it's meant to be the forever-after kind of love you have always longed for.
There will always be "problems" that have to be worked through later in all relationships, but falling in love for the first time is the rare opportunity to express yourself as openly as possible without fear or rejection.
You don't say- "Well, your kissing technique could use some work."
You don't say- "How about we 'fix' you?"
You don't say- "No, no- You're doing this all wrong! What's the matter with you?"
No, you are lost in his eyes, centered and focused on the emotions you feel, the racing of your heart and being on sensory overload. Everything around you is beautiful and it makes you feel good. It puts you on a natural high and you want that feeling to continue and grow and deepen. And in truth- you'll never love this way again- not like you do in the beginning of that relationship when everything is so new and fresh. It burns upon your memory for a lifetime.
There's emotional gratification from being in love and feeling love just bursting at the seams. Sometimes it blinds you to other things going on around you because you're so caught up in the swirl of emotions and joy. You can't imagine anything ever being better.
Writing a first draft is like that. When you can "fall in love" with the story and just allow yourself to feel it- to know it in it's unaltered, uninhibited natural state, without questioning it. In turn, you also give yourself permission to bare your soul and connect to the story- not just the grammar and sentence structure and punctuation and page count, etc.
You'll never pour the story out with more emotion or more openly than you do the first time you write it. Sometimes relationships/stories are smooth and easily fall into place like traveling down a fresh section of interstate and other times they aren't- they're bumpy and hard to navigate like an old country road that's never been paved and has potholes everywhere (dare I say "plotholes")- but either way- usually worth the trip.
And yes, you'll have corrections to make later, things to work on, and improve upon, to make the story stronger and more cohesive and lasting. But that's the great thing about love AND writing- you start a new relationship OR story with the sparks and fire and anticipation of the things to come because you're not holding back- You give your heart.
Sure there will be issues that come up down the road- after the romantic notions take a back seat to "real life," but with either one- if you want it badly enough, you'll work hard to sustain it, to improve it, to make it the best "LOVE" story you can possibly have.
(Could I rambled on enough this morning? HEHE)