Monday, February 05, 2007

Writing the SFD

You know, I've never actually finished an SFD. I've written 50K - actually much more - of written/rewritten/polished-to-the-best-of-my-ability words, but I have yet to produce a whole WIP. That's what I'm learning to do now.

I might spend fifteen minutes on a sentence like:
"Stubborn." He said, and placed a trencher of food near me on the floor.
There was a soft thud as he placed a trencher of food near me on the floor.
...a trencher of roasted hare...
...he remarked...
My cheeks puckered with longing as he...
WHATEVER! He gave me food. Move on.

Some of this is process, I know. SFD doesn't actually mean the first words that I typed, but I stumble in these potholes every half hour or so. For five years! I want to get the story down, and if it's studded with bright gems of clever phrase and glowing description, terrific. But I think I use it as a place to hide from those moments when the words aren't flowing, when I don't actually know what my characters do next. After struggling with JUNIPER for so long I've developed a deep fear of that impotence, so I learned the fiddling habit in order not to feel like I'm stuck.

This go, a new approach. Fingers poised featherlight over the keys, listening with an open mind for clues. And typing with no regard for where I'm going. Just get the words flowing, that's all, and enjoy the process. No white knuckles!

4 comments:

Sara Walker Howe said...

Yes! Keep going!

Some fiddling is allowed, but if you find yourself dwelling on something, or getting otherwise sidetracked, take a moment to sketch out the plot so far and plan where you can go next. It helps.

You can do it!

Susan Adrian said...

Cindy:

Yup. This is my first attempt at a SFD too, and I'm still a bit uncomfortable with letting go. Why write at all if what I'm writing is pure crap? But I'm trying to trust myself that some of it will be salvageable in the end, and at least it will point me in the right direction.

Cindy said...

Hi Sara:

Thanks! It's a little bit hard to let go, relax and not worry, but I'm trying.

Cindy said...

Hi Susan!

Tricky to let oneself off the hook sometimes. I don't like to leave messes either.