Archive for the 'Thoughts on Writing' Category

It’s easier to think about writing than to actually write.

Regarding Corrections While Writing

On the first draft I find it difficult but effective to limit your spell checking and the like until the current draft is finished; at the very least, wait till near the end of your writing session.  This way you can make all the changes in a more brute force way (for example, see: replace all feature) while also maintaining momentum and flow.

Constantly correcting capitalization and the like is a lazy technique as this is only an escape from the harder part of deep creation.  Yeah, that says “deep creation.”

This is not to say that you should not work on your sentence structure and word choice  at appropriate times in order to make your language clear, active and concise.

To recap:  When you are in your flow stay there as long as you can and fix the misstakes later.

Read aloud to catch those mastakes.

Editing note: On subsequent drafts I would come up with a better joke than this “mistakes” bit. 

A Poem on writer’s block

When I don’t know what to write
I don’t.
Except for right now
As I write this.
My bad.

Writing Thought #3.2- The Vomit Draft


The point of the 1st draft is to have it.  If you are not a writer, consider thinking of the following as a metaphor for the creative aspect of yourself.

In detail:

One of my biggest issues for a long time was being worried that the first draft would not be good enough. But, lo and behold, it’s not important how good the first draft is.    Since realizing this about two years ago, my writing productivity and overall game has increased abundantly.  Now, I could rewrite that last sentence but I will not so as to make it clear that it is OK to write sentences that are not wonderful.  It is not OK to show these sentences that make up a draft to anyone except your writing partner or your dog.  The point of the 1st draft is to have a first draft!  You must make that first draft vomit and create itself.

Now don’t go all extreme and just start writing a draft without figuring out the outline and the characters and overall theme of your show.  I mean, try it.  It will probably suck. (If it doesn’t we need to talk so I can learn the secret.  Lunch on me.  No, you can pick the place.  I’ll b ring the pen and paper. ) Instead, yes, write an outline that makes sense for the show that you have worked hard to make believable, funny, and fresh.  And more generally, most definitely make sure your idea and world are good enough to pursue because the work ahead is very much.

But once that is done, write that vomit draft.

A vomit draft includes lots of:

  • Question marks to indicate uncertainty in your mind
  • Alternate text for characters (OR alternate dialogue for characters)
  • Intra-text notes, some of the most common being: (insert dialogue here); (better joke here); (too much exposition); (sp?); (why can’t I be happy without striving?)
  • Moments when you think: “Damn, this is really hard.  I have to write another scene after I get done with this one.  And then another and then….”
  • Moments of flow when you do not think, only do.  Yoda is there at these times.
  • Awful expositional dialogue that is basically you making sure you know the truths and beats of the story.  Worry not; these are to be dealt with in future drafts.   If they are not, then worry.
  • Classical music on medium blast. If you listen to any music with decipherable English when writing you have a problem and that problem is highly fixable.
  • (insert more here???; what would be funny???) 
  • Vomit.


I left those last two in there because it flows with my overall point- there are so many questions to be answered when writing.  Often, the only way they can be approached is after there is a draft to work off of.

Alright, I think this is getting a little too expositional.

Don’t look at the picture below.  Oops.

Sometimes a picture is worth 1,000 bad words.

This is what an extra raw first draft looks like:

When you try to be funny by explaining it, it doesn’t work.  Stay away from indefinite articles as well.


LMNOP should be one letter

Let it breath