How Do You Draft?

My email isn’t working, so don’t get alarmed if you haven’t received a response from me.  Phones have been seriously iffy, too.  It’s not just the connection either.  I have a teenager who leaves the phones off until they’re dead.  Recharging isn’t cutting it right now.  I finally put in a phone with a cord.  Remember those? 

Looks like the storm is ending for us.  People south of us got freezing rain which is such a pain to deal with–I feel for them.  We received a little rain, a little snow, but mostly? 

Sleet. 

Piles and piles of sleet.  My yard is a meandering and sparkly sea of rock salt.  The thing we have to watch for is the layer at the bottom that melts and refreezes into a sleek, hard sheet of ice.

I took more bird pics but I won’t bore you with those again.  <g> The hawks are back, swooping through the trees, knocking out frozen limbs in their path.  Bright red-headed woodpeckers are noising it up and massive, velvety looking black crows, with a penchant for vampish gang behavior, clear the yard every so often. 

Honestly, this break is nice.  Weekends are usually hectic, so the quiet is welcome.  Kids are restless, which is to be expected, especially since one of them is grounded.  Poor thing can’t seem to get his behavior on.  The hubby is watching an extraordinary amount of football, so I should be able to knock out some work today.  Uh, I zone out with football.  Can’t help it.  Wish I could enjoy it with him, but if I’m not reading or writing during that drone of background commentator and crowd noise, I’m sleeping.

I printed off a first draft of a chapter and plan to get the second draft of it done.  It’s funny how different writers have different rituals when it comes to drafting.  Some don’t use hard copies unless forced at gunpoint.  Some hand write everything first then turn it into a second draft as it’s typed in. 

Me?  I type in the first draft, maybe tweak it a bit on screen, then print a hard copy in single spaced format.  The single line spacing is important because it gives me a better feel for the “flow” of the words.  It resembles actual book format, so I can tell if something is off. 

So, I make all kinds of handwritten notes in the margins, on the back… and if I’m feeling particularly organized, I use a notebook. 

The magic happens as I’m typing in my changes.  Even after doing the handwritten work, there will be more changes that go in during this part.  I think it’s the manipulation, the shifting and addition of subtle nuance– the actual creative process of the work, that makes the magic happen.  Draft two is my favorite part of the process. 

I’ll leave you with my cat.  The colorful birds in the sleet are driving him crazy, but he’s too much of a wuss to actually go out in this to chase.  But he did just knock off all those research books I’m currently using. Brat.

sleet-cat.jpg

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About Rinda Elliott

Writer.I love unusual stories and credit growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept us amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, I tried to separate my darker side with my humorous and romantic one. I published short fiction, but things really started happening when I gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, I love making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with my husband and two children. I’m represented by Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Agency.
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4 Responses to How Do You Draft?

  1. He is a very pretty brat. 😉

  2. Missy says:

    We didn’t get much of the ice last night but tonight seems to be a different story. ugh. I hate this stuff.

    I’m a stickler for printing out drafts to make notes on. I catch more that way than looking at the monitor.

    I have seven cats that love to plunder my books. They take turns lying under my desk lamp as well. Forget about leaving a book in that area, it’ll be in the floor in no time.

  3. Betty S says:

    Beautiful cat!

    I’m iced in. This big old house leaks cold and heat is spotty. Some rooms are downright hot and others freezing cold. All vents appear to be open, so go figure. I have learned that a 50/50 solution of water/vinager or water/ethel alcohol makes a great de-icer.

  4. scooper says:

    After I started learning that publishers want different formats, I stopped indenting paragraphs and double spacing. Now I go back at the end and format according to where I might (haven’t worked up the courage)send it.

    We were supposed to have an ice storm but only got rain for which I’m extremely thankful.

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