Homage to the unsung heroes of a first draft

Treat your typos with respect because they are the first casualties of a supreme sentence. They freely lay down their lives on the printed page as you feverishly tap away on the keyboard pouring out your thoughts during the perfect brainstorm. Every fi, nad or butt that survive auto-spell check await calmly for you, the editor, to surgically repair the broken vocabulary.

Napkin Notes
You might be at your laptop when that initial inspiration beams into your brain. Your fingers morph into something crazy only seen on the Sci Fi Channel and your hands do their best to keep up with your stream of consciousness.

Frequently I’m eating food, any food – snack or regular mealtime – it doesn’t matter, when my big ideas begin to pop. I’ve written entire stories on a dozen cocktail napkins only to transcribe them into slightly better gibberish when I get back to my computer. I let the words flow and clean up the hasty blunders later, both when I put pen to paper and subject to screen.

It’s most important to get the revelation out of your head and scribbled onto something tangible. Editing will come later, but for now the comma cops will turn a blind eye while you complete your preliminary outline and run-on sentences.

Dreadful Drafts
Be grateful for every rough copy and synopsis written, especially when it’s bad. The fact you can recognize how horrible it is brings confidence to your correction abilities. This is the fun part where you flesh out your ideas, focus on characters and enhance scenes after the initial structure is on paper.

With the advent of computers, editing is easier than writing a cliché. Relocating entire sections to create a better and logical flow is easy as cut-and-paste. The beloved thesaurus and built-in dictionary clean up the poorest prose, so authors can make their sentences sing. The punctuation police will monitor dashes, quote marks and the occasional exclamation point (one in every six pages), which are easily added to emphasize the point.

Getting the next best seller, presentation outline or tasteful toast out of your noggin is the biggest battle. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Don’t do both correcting spelling and grammar on the initial brain dump; just focus on the idea. Then edit and pay homage to the typos, those brave little characters, the unsung heroes, of a first draft.

Be the first to respond!

Leave a comment:

Stay Informed

Valuable info sent to your inbox.

Available on Amazon