Paula finds the first draft an uphill struggle!
Writing a first draft is
rather like climbing a mountain. You set off full of enthusiasm and it might
seem easy to start with –a gentle climb on grassy slopes. But then the going
gets tougher, and you puff and pant with every step as you tackle a steep part
of the climb. You lose sight of the top of the mountain and think you’re never
ever going to reach it, or you reach a seemingly insurmountable rock blocking
your way, or the mist comes down and you can’t see anything ahead of you.
I’m sure we’ve all been there
with our stories. At the moment, I feel as if I’m wandering around in the mist
and bumping into rocks at every turn. In the last three days I have written and
rewritten one conversation about a dozen times and it still isn’t right. In
fact I’ve been struggling with the whole chapter since the beginning of May,
and am still under 2,000 words with it.
I know some writers would
advocate leaving that difficult scene, jumping ahead to an easier scene, and
coming back to the first scene. However, I once tried that, and it didn’t work
for me. The difficult scene kept gnawing at my mind, and wouldn’t let me
concentrate on the later scenes.
So I’ll persevere and keep at
it. My one consolation is that I’ve been in this situation before, and have
somehow, eventually, got over that huge rock or found my way out of the mist. I'm sure the same will happen this time – until
the next obstacle presents itself!
How do you deal with
difficult scenes that somehow don’t want to be written?