Saturday, September 20, 2014

They've Got the Right Idea


So I am knee-deep in revisions AND I am currently teaching a creative writing course for teens. The thing that I like so much about teaching is that it forces me to systematically explain what I do in my head at my computer.

So plot points, opening scene, triggering incident...I have to show that to young writers that are basically pansters. They sit and start writing without even caring where its going.

Thing is...

Its kind of a good thing.  Don't get me wrong. I'm a thorough charter, outliner, index card writing planner to my core.  But these go for broke, just get it out, teen writers don't ever seem to suffer from something older writers seem to grapple with.  They FINISH their stories.

They don't care that their first draft is wildly meandering and full of plot holes. Or that their main characters are given to colloquialisms and metaphors too often.  That can all be fixed in edits.  

No, I think they're on to something...

Too often we are so concerned with perfecting what we're writing before we're even finished that we don't in fact, finish.  I've had so many fellow authors start several books and not actually get to the last page because they don't give themselves the room to just...well, to just PLAY.

Writing is hard work. Yes.  It is technical and you need to hone your craft. Yes. It needs to also be fun. Because if you aren't enjoying the story. How will your reader?

So while I edit... 

I will plug away at my commas and make sure my threads are weaved, but I am also going to remind myself that I write because I love it.

What are your thoughts?  

by +Raquel Byrnes 

7 comments:

Murees Dupé said...

You are absolutely right. I know I worry about perfecting my manuscript at every stage. You have the right attitude though, writing because you love it. Good for you. At this point I still love writing too. Wishing you all the best with your edits.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Murees - Every single time I teach these kids I walk away energized to write. Its awesome. :)

Liz A. said...

The teens I encounter refuse to write anything because they want their first draft to be perfect. Then again, they were writing essays. Or, perhaps, they were trying to get out of writing essays...

Clarissa Draper said...

It's true. When I was young, I rarely gave plot a chance. I would just write from the beginning to the end. And edit? Never! I hate the editing part and would always wait until the end. I should learn from them or from my past self.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Liz - Yes, my writing class is actually for kids that already have a lot done on a project. We do NaNo together. Its really inspiring.

Clarissa - I think the sheer bravery of just getting the first draft out is really admirable. :)

Sarah Allen said...

My high school writing teacher always said he couldn't help an empty page. So wandering, meandering words is a good place to start!

Sarah Allen
(Writing Blog)

Amalia T. Dillin said...

Honestly, if I know too much ahead of myself, I lose the drive to finish -- I like to discover the story as I write! I'm not sure why I have no problem with this in edits when I'm doing major rewrites, but for some reason, that first draft really needs to be a surprise for me. ha. I guess that's what keeps it fun for writer-me.