Writer’s Notebook: A Writer’s View

Posted: October 6, 2015 in graffiti living
Tags: ,

I stumbled across a brilliant section in an otherwise unremarkable book on writing called ‘A Writer’s View’ where he mentioned a process very similar to what I do when writing fiction:

Allow a horrible and massive gibberish-draft full of nonsense (a la Anne Lamott’s shitty first drafts).

Explore all the contradictions, and all the different possibilities of character and plot (write both when they turn left and when they turn right).

Then you’re free of anxiety, have everything in front of you and can try it on for size.

Then you can write a proper first draft which does the opposite — ie. it gets the structure right, focuses on what-actually-happens level structure and plot and is written better and more coherently, but still don’t sweat about deathless prose.

Then, and only then, do you go back and attempt to make the language better.

This struck me as a sensible and efficient way to approach writing and editing.

I can’t for the life of me find this book anywhere, but I swear that I didn’t dream it.


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