Posts Tagged Perfect Prose

Getting the Words Out

In the ongoing dialogue (which often sounds like a debate), surrounding the topic of editing on the fly, do you purge or draw when you write? Do you vomit your thoughts onto paper like a sticky regurgitation of the chaos crashing around your mind or do you delicately extract them as carefully as Dumbledore withdrawing a memory for storage?

My preference is getting the words out. Now. I usually can’t type fast enough. This isn’t really saying much cause I type really weird (six fingers on both sides of the keyboard). That happens when you teach yourself. I also key really hard – enough to wear the letters off the buttons.


I’m a purger. Once it’s on the page then I can worry about tweaking and cleaning and sorting. It’s what I call the triage approach. Get the words (the patient) on the paper (the table) and suture or cut (edit) as needed. The process isn’t for everyone but it works for me. I can churn out a first draft pretty fast with this method. Of course it IS a first draft but then I’ve got whole cloth to work from.

I don’t think anybody uses only one process to reach their goal but most of us have preferences. I’ve got five first drafts waiting that I wrote in the last two years. As time permits, I pull one out and tweak it…if I’m not feeling jazzed about it – there’s another one, or I work on a new story.

Producing work is important to me. I like to keep my fingers in the pie, my foot in the pool, and my ear to the wind. Always thinking, listening and writing. Sure, I’ve got lots of crap. But I’ve also got some good stuff.

What’s your process? Do you churn out the words in chaotic glory or let them drip like honey from your fingers? How many first drafts have you got waiting in the eaves?