The Drunken Bliss of a 1st Draft

So I was over at again, and I picked one of Don's neat stories to read, at random. (For those of you who missed that post, Don is dedicating himself to write 24 novels in one year, each in a 3 day time span... on line, live-- see my post Inside a Writer's Mind for details or just check out his website for yourself. If you're like me, you have to see the insanity to believe it.)
Anyway, I ended up with The Fall Guy. A fun story that sucked me in, and it was worth the read.

I knew I was reading a first draft, and that's what made it a fun read. I got goosebumps. (Still have them actually.) And it brought back memories.

Ah... first drafts. The drunken bliss of it.
I wrote my last first draft about six months ago. (Gee, when I write it like that, it comes off a little like an AA meeting introduction.-- Maybe I should start a blog for Writing Addicts.) Anyway, writing binges aside, I can proudly say that some of my novels, I've been soberly editing for years, and the chill-factor is long gone. No more goosebumps, no more mad rush, just me ploughing through them, head strong and determined to polish them up for my readers.

Still, it's nagging at me. How does a first draft do that?

What is the magical ingredient in a first draft that makes it so blasted fun to read? I went back and examined mine. Is it the rawness? Is it the fearlessness? I mean, I write anything in a first draft. It's written vomit that would make my husband blush.

Yet... there's just a certain magic there. A spontaneity.

Don't get me wrong, my writing evolved with the edits, became stronger, and looking at that chilling first draft, it's better. Minus the chills. Yeah, my first drafts still give me chills, my fifteenth just gives me butterflies.- I'm so close!

So from draft one to fifteen, what happened to the goosebump-factor? Am I immune from reading them seventy times, forwards and backwards? Or is it the potential that gives me a rush?

Maybe that's it, the goosebumps are a sign of possibility, hope... madness.


Lynnette Labelle said...

I think it's pretty normal to lose some of the love after editing and revising so many times. That's why first drafts are great. You're "allowed" to write whatever you want. You can listen to the characters or follow your heart, and worry about what works and what doesn't later.

Lynnette Labelle

E. Arroyo said...

The first draft is that newborn, that although still ooey and gooey is the most beautiful life in this world. Then they grow up. LOL.

Great post!

Lisa said...

Feel the same way about my writing... even though I have only completed one novel, I have rewritten it hundreds of times!

Thanks for following me and giving me encouragement. I know someday it will be published, at least now I can feel I am writing and someone(s) will read it!!

Regina said...

I get mine done and then it is like a food that I have ate too much of and never want to see again for awhile. But then later on I get the nerve to sample/edit and revise again until I feel like I can either use it or put it away again.