Sunday, February 21, 2016

Brain Snapshot -- A View from the Inside

Photo credit:
Hepic Photography
The thing I consistently forget about writing is that first drafts are, by definition, awkward, imperfect, sledge-hammer versions of the final, nuanced, polished scene. I get so scared when I write a new scene because I put down words, then jump away because they aren't quite the right ones and the fear takes over that I'm going to ruin what I've done, that somehow whatever magic happened before has deserted me. Then I panic and agonize and spend days just staring at the computer, getting one sentence out, maybe another, until finally, filled with self-disgust, I force myself to sit down and work through the scene to the end. And I edit as I go, return to previous scenes, smooth over rough transitions and beats, add subtext and nuance to dialogue, shift descriptions from one scene to another because they work better in the new juxtapositions, and then, suddenly, I realize, Oh, it's okay. I've gotten it right after all. And the scene I've just written takes its place in the smooth arc of those that come before it and I turn to the next scene and panic all over again.