First draft jitters

This month I’m settling in to a new work-in-progress. The concept, storyline and early research for this W-I-P came together so quickly that I’ve become crazy-excited about this project. I love all my stories, (why else would I bother?) but this one came together so easily, that I knew it was special.

So with the background work done, plot line sorted, character profiles and the constant dreams/nightmares about different scenes in the book I finally knew it was time to sit down and write the first chapter.

Then I made coffee. Then I googled. Then I made another coffee.

You get the idea.

I get nervous before every first draft I write and it doesn’t feel like something I’ll grow out of. The story and the characters are so real and perfect in my mind and I can clearly see how they react in different situations. Before I start writing, it’s as though I’m watching this film that has never been made and I’m connecting to the scenes – being afraid or heart broken or blissfully happy.

But as soon as I begin writing, all of the detail and emotion seems to vanish. I could write copious notes and it still wouldn’t come out as thrilling as it seemed in my mind. That’s what gives me the jitters. I know that as soon as I start the hard work my story won’t be perfect anymore. Sure, it will have glimmers here and there, but it will also be ridden with plot holes and awkward prose and even some surprisingly dull moments.

I know it just won’t be the same, but that’s the challenge of writing a novel. I’m sure a lot of people can think of an idea for a story, but getting it down and re-drafting until it resembles that very first time it played through your mind is hard work.

It’s hard work that I should be returning to right now, actually…


4 thoughts on “First draft jitters

  1. Sounds perfectly normal to me. It’s the artistry of working those images and emotions into words we love and it can be agony. Oh, but when it works, and it will, Kat, what delight. Not to mention an amazing feeling of accomplishment. Go you. C.

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