There's a Reason First Drafts are Horrid

Disclaimer: I will most likely pay for this post/confession when Stark reads it.

When I first started writing, it was a matter of getting words on the paper - telling the story that was in my head and seeing how many pages it would take to end it. And in between making sure Loki was playing nice and avoiding Thor at all costs, I was able to stay focused on the story and write it in a matter of days.

Now that I've written more, and learned more about the craft, things have changed.

Now, I know there's that thing called show not tell, and another called character arcs, and another called pacing. And so many other little things that make me think writing is harder than fighting off Chitauri, and even harder than pre-calculus (I aced that class, by the way. Me and Bucky... let's not talk about Bucky.)

But in some ways, my earlier days of cluelessness was liberating. Easy. I could write, then I could edit.

Now, when I sit down to write, I think of everything, and the real story gets neglected because I'm trying to get it all right the first time.

Don't tell me I'm alone.

I'm a natural at never giving up. I feel like I have one of "before" and "after" lives that I've seen on weightloss ads in the newspaper (on a side note, I'm surprised we still have newspaper, though I never expected it to be in color. What's next? Moving pictures like in that movie... Hairy something?)

But while I never give up, I sometimes feel like I can't even begin because I'm worried about getting it wrong. I have an amazing idea I want to get down, but my mind strays to editing it before I begin.

So what should you do?

Just write. It's harder than it sounds, trust me, I know. But try to think of your days of ignorance, when writing was something you did like reading - for enjoyment. To tell a story no one else has told before.

Then focus on turning that story into a book. Edit. Fix up those arcs, pacing issues, plot holes and spelling.

There's a reason first drafts are horrid. Always remember: JUST WRITE.

I suspect I'll be coming back to read this post soon, because I tend to forget how easy it is to write then edit, not edit and write.

Over and out,
Captain America

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