10. Say it with feeling

I was most of the way through the first draft, and aaaaaarrgh! What I had written was  stilted, mechanical and just damn uninteresting – plus it had taken me ages. Instead of going down the pub and crying into a pint or three, I chucked it away and before starting again; looked for what was wrong.

A book by Nancy Kress says we must learn to be multiple things i.e. characterwriter, and reader. It says the first step is to forget about being a writer and become the character. Think, FEEL, see and smell as they do. Next, become a writer but a non-critical one who just acts as the conduit to get the character’s perceptions, speech, and actions down on paper.

You only need two for the first draft, character and the non-critical writer. Below are sample pages of how things worked out. It’s a million miles better than my other draft, even with the spelling howlers.

The reader and the critical writer will come in to play later, when the first draft is safely written. Let them out any earlier and they may paralyse you, like they did to me.






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