This week: Importance of the Rough DraftEdited by: Lonewolf
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Today is January 2nd, 2013 , a brand new year full of creative possibilities, and with these possibilities, come "Rough Drafts" every romance novelist writes a rough draft of his or her novel. Some drafts may be "cleaner" than others, meaning they have fewer grammatical errors and mangled sentences. Other drafts may be unpolished and focus on getting the story committed to paper, rather than on making the words jump off the page. Of course, new writers must ultimately choose the method that works for them creatively. Either way, completing the book is the goal.
For some successful romance authors, a rough draft is really a detailed outline that lists a narrative form of precisely who the book is about and what happens to them. These outlines can be quite lengthy - in fact, writing a detailed outline of 60 to 100 pages is not unusual.
The actual writing of a paper begins not by fashioning exquisite sentences, but by blasting out a chunk of raw material that can be worked and shaped like a piece of marble. That chunk of raw material for the writer is the rough draft. It's called a "rough" draft because rough, is precisely what it is--unpolished, with raw jagged edges, unpleasing to look at. But that's OK, because it's not meant to be looked at and admired.
Writing a well-crafted paper can be compared to creating a fine marble sculpture-neither one can be completed in one step, nor can the detailed work be done before the heavy blasting. Being able to take a novel from story idea to rough draft strengthens a new writer's confidence level. After all, completing a rough draft is tangible proof that your goal is within your reach.
A rough draft is sometimes called a discovery draft, because this is where writers explore their ideas, often discovering new ideas in the process. This is a very exciting stage in the pre-writing process, the stage where writers start to find out what they have to say about the various ideas that emerged in their brainstorming process. And like the brainstorming process, the writing of a rough draft needs to be uncontrolled-open, free, with no set limitations.
Don't worry if your first draft isn't very good. First drafts rarely are, nor are they supposed to be. It isn't even necessary for the first draft to meet the word count of your projected romance. Ultimately, all that matters is getting the story down on paper. Once you have a completed first draft, you can re-write, polish, tweak, and expand until the novel is finished having been polished into a masterpiece as smooth as marble.
Excerpt of: Daughter of Spirits: The Blight Lands
Kari leaned her bike against a tree at the edge of the old ruins. Well, she called it the Old Ruins. The tree cave was slightly taller than she, which was saying something. Vines wove between the branches of low growing trees. They tied the canopy in such a way that imitated a vaulted ceiling. Her cave grew deep and wide in its ring of trees like a castle from a fairytale. The afternoon light shone through the canopy leaves like stained glass.
She needed to come here. Today had been a particularly grueling weekend swim practice with two hours of laps and practice relays. Then Maggie Wilson insisted they go over the designs for the varsity team shirts one more time, and Erin Lewinski had to pick a fight about whose design to choose because her mother was the booster chair and knew what was really going on. The captains lost all control and the whole team had to sit and listen to the spat because their coach wanted them to leave the pool as one whole team.
Excerpt of: The Fate of the Powers
The powers were diverse. An elf, a fairy, a sorceress and...something unidentified. We'll get to him later.
The elf was quiet, speaking only when need be, wishing much more to think about the outcome of the circumstances before hand. He didn't like rash decisions, and he certainly didn't like moving quickly. This elf wasn't going to like his responsibilities in this quest at all.
The fairy was just about everything of the opposite. She could be explained as nothing more than loud. Her voice carried much farther than her body, which stood only 5 feet tall and barely a foot across. In fact, this fairy isn't even really a creature that can be explained. Instead, you just need to observe and figure her out for yourself.
The sorceress was a little bit of an in between. She didn't shout, but she wasn't quiet. She was essentially normal...except for the blue skin and fierce silver orbs that she liked to call "eyes to the soul". Actually, they did little to show her soul, but either way it was a wonderful little saying...if you will forgive the cliché.
Excerpt of: She's The One
The moment Jessica Sawyer Lloyd opened her eyes, she let out a choked sob and turned over the large bed to glance at the digital clock on the bedside table. 7: 12 in the morning. Warm sunlight was peeking through the beige curtains that she and Mac had bought at Germany the first year Scottie started to tour. That was over two years ago; now Scottie Dale, one of Mac's closest friends, was the biggest name on the jazz slash folk music scene. Jessica never knew that that those genres could merge and actually sound good before she met Scottie. Of course, Mac had been into music since she had met him, but then she never knew that it would all come to this.
Excerpt of: Larkin's Ranch
Jenna Owens stepped onto the main road leading into town, minding her own business, and looking for some excitement. Graduation was only three weeks ago, but she was already bored stiff. The July sun was scorching hot, and the black top was like fire as her sandals slid along the road. She could hear music up ahead in the distance, but couldn't see a car because of the hilly roads.
A navy-blue truck came barreling down the middle of the two-lane road. Jenna continued walking, expecting the driver to get into his lane, but he didn't. The truck accelerated aiming for her. Fear gripped her body as her mind raced. Jenna started running, desperate to get off the road before she became road kill.
Just as she hit the dirt, the truck whizzed past her, the tires screeching as the vehicle did a one-eighty. Slowly the truck crept towards her, making her heart beat erratically.
"What's a pretty little thing like you doing in the middle of the road?" Noah Prescott asked with a devilish smile on his lips.
Excerpt of: Frowning Across the Lines of Time
Laurie peeked down the aisle around Mrs. Martin's skinny body. Broad-shoulders, muscles taut, shiny black hair. Oh, my. She felt like whimpering, like wiggling about on the hard wooden pew, acting the role of a nursery toddler. But she held herself firm, pretended control. Ooh, he's so good-looking, she thought. The tiniest breath of a sigh released itself, a sigh almost soundless.
Even so, it reminded her that she must behave. Her eyes dropped to the song book. Her fingers touched a word, then stopped, paused although the choir sang on and everyone around her continued.
God's firmament forms a mighty . . .
She wet her lips, attempted to jump into the refrain, but her thoughts whiffled about like unburied ants.Who is he? Where has he come from? Oh, I have to find out. I just have to.
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