Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Rough Draft Exercise

Rough Drafts are basically garbage. Stuff you have to get out so you can write something good later. Here is an example. It's actually an exercize I was working on to get into Acacia's (my protagonist's) head. It's often helpful to write journal entires from various characters' POVs (points of view). This is hers at a very low point in her life, just after the first turning point. In a nutshell, her family has been murdered.



I can’t describe the way I feel any better than that. I’ve lost nearly everything and everyone I hold dear. Can someone please tell me how I can ever recover from this?

I’m not sure if I want to recover anyway. What will it mean if I do? I’ve lost my mother, the only parent I’ve ever known. I’ve lost my Coven Sisters, the only family I’ve ever had. I have no Coven, no family, no purpose in life. There’s nothing left for me now.

Wait a minute--I take it all back--I’m not numb. I’m angry! Why my mother? Why my Coven Sisters? Why are four good and decent women dead? What could any of them have ever done to deserve such a grizzly death? And why didn’t I meet the same fate?

I just don’t know what to think. Perhaps I’m here because I have a purpose? And what would that purpose be? I was a member of a Coven--a family--and now it’s gone.

So here I sit on the morning of the Summer Solstice wondering why I’m supposed to give a damn. Why should I prepare my alter and tools for tonight? Why should I thank the Lord and Lady for my many “blessings”? Why should I anoint my body with oils, put on my robe and climb the hill to the clearing where we cast our sacred circle?

Earth is my element and I like it that way. I never asked to be a solitary witch, damn it, never wanted to work alone. And why should I have to? Says who? The bastards who killed my family had no right to take my magic from me. From us. How dare they?

Damn it. Damn them. I can’t let them take it. I do have control over this.

Tonight, for better or for worse, everything changes. I’ll be north, south, east, and west. I’ll be winter, summer, spring, and autumn. I’ll be Earth, Fire, Air, and Water...and I’ll be Spirit too.

I’ll do it for my Coven Sisters and I’ll do them proud.


There you have it. Not fabulous reading, but not meant to be. It's a tool that works pretty well. Try it if you need to get deeper into a character's POV and see if it helps you too. It just might. :)



Blogger Chari-Dee said...

I've thought about trying this. I'm writing in First, and I'm just not quite comfortable with it yet. So, I keep going over and over the same thing. I think I'll try this and see if it helps me set up each scene! Mind if I steal this for the writing blog?

9:06 AM  
Blogger Cherry Red said...

Hi Char,

Please do! Lately all my projects are in first person, but just because you write in FP doesn't mean anything can go into the manuscript, you know?

It helps to get all this kind of junk out first so it doesn't oooze all over the page. I don't really know Acacia yet, so this sort of thing is crucial for me. :)

Hope it helps you too.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Chari-Dee said...

I'm working on one now, as a matter of fact. Ikept wanting to put all this slow info dump in there, because I needed to know it, ya know? The problem is, it just doesn't work for the story in itself. So, hopefully I'll have it finished this afternoon. I think this is going to set up that next scene just how I need it to!

I LOVE this! Thank YOU!

6:13 AM  
Blogger Cherry Red said...

Oh, I know!

Write all the infodumpy stuff you want. This is just an exercise. Sometimes you just need to get it OUT.

Get all the junk out, know it, keep what you need, discard what you don't, and keep going.

We're writing fools, eh Char? Ha.

Now off to add to chapter one. I just realized I made things too easy for her. Again. Conflict, conflict, CONFLICT!!! When will I ever learn?


3:27 PM  

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