Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Brain Storm Draft

It's almost the end of April. Thanks a lot, Time, for leaving me in the dust. This means I should almost be done with a 100-page script for Script Frenzy. I'm on page 86. I think I can do this. I know I can. It's not like I'm writing a good script. The story doesn't make a whole lot of sense. The characters are pretty flat and boring at this point. This is what I call "My Brain Storm Draft." It's not Draft One. It's only the Brain Storm Draft where I allow myself to change character names halfway through, change settings several times, and write little notes to myself and create scenes that have no purpose whatsoever expect to get my fingers moving and words flowing. I would never, ever show this to anyone. It's a complete mess.

But this method really works for me. I use it while writing flash fiction pieces (which I highly recommend trying. I think, I hope, maybe, I'm getting a feel for my voice through these stories). I just write and see what comes out. And I surprise myself a lot. Yesterday, I finally found the ending I wanted for my script. I work better knowing the ending. I feel like I'm floating aimlessly if I don't know where I'm headed. Maybe that's why I've had trouble with my current WIP, a YA paranormal, because the ending was never clear to me. If the ending changes, everything changes. And that's a ton of rewriting. I know rewriting can't be avoided. It's actually one of my favorite parts because this is where I can finally make sentences sound pretty and fatten up my characters. But I want general plot nailed down in the first few drafts. If not, then I might be writing forever and, that sounds lovely and all, but I do eventually want people to read it!

I did the Brain Storm Draft for my novel, too, although a bit more restrained than the script and flash fiction. It takes more time but I think wonderful things come out of it. But on my next book, I'm going to write the ending first and see how that works out. I'm just glad I've got new ideas waiting on the horizon!

Next up: YA Paranormal Revisions

Next up: YA Novel Contemporary Romance

Next up: Short stories and flash fiction

Next up: Romantic Comedy Screenplay

What do you have on your writing plate?Are you all over the place like me? Or do you tend to focus on one story at a time?


  1. Hey Lisa!! I am trying to focus on my current wip, as you know. But I have a few flash fiction pieces that I play with, a middle grade that I am completely rewriting, and two other manuscripts that I have begun and then put off. I also have a great idea that I am mulling over, not to mention ideas for sequels to my current wip. My brain is a party.

    This is a great post and I love that picture!!

  2. I'm just trying to finish my first draft right now. Unfortunately everything else seems to be demanding my time. Good luck with all your projects!

  3. Marsha - Yep! Your brain and my brain should hang out. I think they've got something in common! The thing bouncing around between different ideas is that if you get stuck, or frustrated, with one, you can get the creative juices going again by moving onto another. That's helped me a lot.

    Natalie - First Drafts are tough for me. It's hard to get through those. You can do it. Life does get in the way but somehow writing finds its way through...eventually!

  4. I've finished my first draft of my most recent YA and I'm just letting it sit before I begin revisions. I have 4 serious contenders for my next WiP but because decisions make me cry,I haven't picked one yet.

    Glad to hear things are going well for you.

  5. Wow, you've got some awesome things going on here! Good for you! Though I only work on one writing project at a time, I have *tons* of ideas for future projects floating around. When I finish a novel, it's always a challenge choosing which idea I want to pursue next.