The Trial of First Drafts
I've thought about giving up on this story. With so many characters I feel like I may be aiming a bit higher than I can actually hit and like maybe my writing time is better spent on a story I can write more easily. But the story isn't hopeless. It's a mess, sure, but that's how first drafts go for me. I keep writing toward the finish line, trying not to freak out too much when I don't know how to connect the dots of this story or when I don't quite know which plots are worth keeping at which aren't. When I don't know the end game of these characters and their relationships, I remind myself that I don't have to know it all right this second.
I don't know how far this novel will go. Honestly right now it wouldn't surprise me if I did this first draft, then let the story sit forever, never bothering to go through the arduous editing process for a novel that might not ever work. But right now I don't know that it won't work. I won't know that until I at the very least finish this draft and see if, when all the words are there on the screen, I can make sense of what should and shouldn't happen.
My family and friends often ask about what I'm writing. And the fact is, when I'm in a first draft, I don't quite know how to answer because I don't know the what happens of my book yet. Right now all I know is that sidekicks is about five best friends. They may or may not be drifting apart. They may or may not be fighting against that drifting apart, trying to stay close. One of the reasons I love writing first drafts is also what makes them so difficult and trying: the possibilities are endless. Anything can happen. As a writer, it's terrifying and exhilarating to sift through that anything to get to what works, what makes sense.
Fellow writers, what do you think of first drafts. Love or hate?