Thursday, September 20, 2012

Getting through the first draft

by Maria Geraci

You know how I know I'm excited about starting a new book? I begin writing at all sorts of strange hours. And by strange hours, I mean 2 a.m or 4 a.m or maybe even in the middle of cooking dinner which can create all sorts of problems if one wants their dinner to not be burned to a crackly crunch (as Mike Geraci and I generally prefer ours not to be).

I'll be honest, this sort of shake up to my routine is not only expected, it's highly desired. Nothing is worse to me as a writer than to sit at my computer forcing myself to come up with something to put on the page. I have plenty of stuff I could be doing instead.

Multi-pubbed and ultra-famous author Nora Roberts is generally credited with the quote "...just get the story down." And that's exactly what I do.I get that first draft done in snippets, sometimes writing for as little as five minutes because inspiration can come at the oddest moments (in the shower, while driving a car, standing in the grocery line) which means I have to be creative about the way I write.

The other day while I was waiting at the deli to order lunch meat, a brilliant (yes, brilliant!) line of dialogue came to me and I had no paper or pen. So I whipped out my iPhone and began typing dialogue in my Notes app. I was so engrossed that I completely missed hearing my number called. I mumbled a quick apology and the clerk took my order, but I have to wonder what she would have thought if I'd said, "Sorry, I was writing my novel!"  I'm sure that would have garnered me some strange looks but I wouldn't have cared. Writing the first draft is like inching your way on your belly through the trenches. You get to the finish line any way you can.


  1. "You get to the finish line anyway you can."

    LOVE that. So true.

    Good luck, Maria!

  2. Oh, Maria, this post rings so true to my own experience! And when I finally get the first draft really humming along, I get so engrossed that it's hard to shut it off at night to sleep. I've often spent restless nights in bed, tossing and turning while I write more of the book in my head. I suspect that's why many writers have turned to alcohol and other substances--to shut off the book in their heads at night. I just get up and start putting it down on paper like you do.

    I think people who aren't writers or have never lived with writers (and I probably should specify novelists) must think we're insane.

    Good luck with the book!