This is what our first drafts do to us
RC Gale wrote this nice piece on first drafts. It’s worth a read.
A friend once told me he wanted to write a book about marriage. He described each chapter in detail and told me his three keys to a successful marriage (sex was #3). I thought it was funny because he’d only been married for one year.
It’s thrilling to write what you care about. Some stories should probably wait to be written, allowing experience to sharpen the narrative. But then again, some stories need to just be written, to go through the process; to take in life, to possibly die and rise again.
I hope my friend writes that book and I hope he’s been writing it in the first years of his marriage. For when the story is ready and ripe he’ll see so much more of reality.
That’s what our first drafts do–our throw away and deleted paragraphs–they shape the way we see.