Following on...

Published by: Squidge on 23rd Jan 2018 | View all blogs by Squidge

...from Skylark's blog about creating book number 2, and the point she made that sometimes, we forget just what goes into a first draft of a novel, thought I'd share the following:

How important is the first draft to your novel? 

It demonstrates there's no one-size-fits-all approach, and that we, as writers, have to find the way that suits us as individuals, because each of us are unique in our situations, the way we approach a story (planner or pantser) and what we're prepared to put into the first draft.

Makes for interesting reading...





  • Daedalus
    by Daedalus 6 months ago
    Indeed, lots of interesting stuff there. I don’t think I’d considered how differently everyone works, before - which is a little weird, having now contributed to two co-written novels, but perhaps my approach isn’t as different to Jillybean’s as I thought. I knew she worked faster than me and tended to write more (I am slow overall but work in bursts and tend to hack things about a lot during the first draft) but didn’t think of it as a fundamentally different process. Maybe it is. Food for thought.
  • mike
    by mike 6 months ago
    Dear Squidge,

    First ideas might be the best ones.
    A few weeks ago, I attended a talk at the ‘British Film Institute’ about Satysjit Ray and his film. Pather Panchali.
    A film director, who was also an academic, gave a detailed exposition. He explained that Ray had worked out all the details of the film beforehand in a complex script and storyboard. Ray, however, would use the first take and preferred not to re-shoot the scenes; his reason being that he wanted to capture the spontaneity of the scene which would be lost in reshoots.
    I even braved the director and asked a question afterwards. I am interested in photography and some of the shots seemed under-exposed. I wondered if this was due to the Indian sun? The director explained that Ray would have it all worked out. Shadows were compensated by reflected light. Little was left to chance,
    I can see Ray’s point. ‘The Alice in Wonderland idea might work. (Pressing the press card.) I had arrived at a theater early and inspected the playbills of previous productions. These were on the walls of winding corridors throughout the foyers of the theater. Many passageways lead downwards towards the stalls, balcony, upper balcony etc. The playbllls refer to productions from the 1890‘s to the recent past. It is an Edwardian theater.
    Supposing a young girl looks at a playbill and is, by trickery, transported onto the stage of the theatre? She passes though the playbill and though the proscenium arch where she joins scenes of ‘Alice in Wonderland which are being acted out on the stage. Someone with a knowledge of theater history could have fun with this. Alice would be lost in the corridors and history of the theatre - and past productions. Of course, this is a film script and the whole thing would have to be storyboarded in some detail but the acting would have to be spontaneous - on the day of the shoot,
    I very much suspect the idea has been used before and I’m not contemplating a film script!
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