Confession: I love live concerts. The energy. The super loud music. Getting to see my favorite artist thisclose. *sigh*
I went to one last night, and as I swooned over the lead singer, I realized he and his band taught me more about writing than about electric guitars (to say I'm musically challenged is an understatement...). And since some of you are currently working on a first draft, I figured I'd share what I learned.
1) The stage/WORD document is your playground
During first drafts, it's okay to experiment. You don't have to write chronologically. You can switch between POVs till you figure out which one works best. If you've ever been to a concert, or seen one on TV, you know artists like to run around. Or jump. Sometimes both. That's because there are no boundaries on that stage. They can do whatever they want. They're free to be silly and make mistakes. So should you.
2) Singing live/drafting comes from the heart
You know how every song sounds absolutely perfect on a CD? Well, it's been edited to death. The singer's voice is flawless, with zero pitch problems. But onstage, that might not be the case. They belt out those notes without a second thought. Sometimes they hit them, sometimes they totally don't. Why? Because it's all about the moment. About how they feel, not what they think. First drafts are the place to sing from the heart. Your story is what matters--not how you tell it.
3) The audience/your characters cheer you on
The artist waves hello, people scream. The artist tells them to sing, people sing. The artist blows kisses, people die (actually, they faint, but you know what I mean...). It's these little moments of interaction that keep the artist going. Sure, they could play just fine without anyone watching them, but that's like not having great characters to write about--boring. That thirst to get your story down is the same as that audience cheering the artist on. It gives them a purpose to do what they do. It tells them that what they're doing isn't a waste of time. That it's worth it. Shouldn't your characters do the same for you?
So. There you have it. Live concerts = first drafts.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go find my vocal chords. I think I left them at the arena...
Quick reminder: Don't miss our Mystery Agent Contest tomorrow!!! Polish those 25-word pitches and be ready to post them in the comments! Only 50 spots available, so make sure you stop by before we reach the limit. Winner gets a FULL MANUSCRIPT request :) AND there'll be something special lined up for the rest of the entries, so don't miss out!
Now tell me: what do you love most about writing that first draft?