Thursday, 22 May 2008

Advice from Ian Fleming


You will be constantly depressed by the progress of the opus and feel it is all nonsense and that nobody will be interested. Those are the moments when you must all the more obstinately stick to your schedule and do your daily stint...Never mind about the brilliant phrase or the golden word; once the typescript is there you can fiddle, correct and embelish as much as you please. Don't be depressed if the first draft seems a bit raw, all first drafts do. Try and remember the weather and smells and sensations and pile in every kind of contemporary detail. Don't let anyone see the manuscript until you are very well on with it and above all, don't allow anything to interfere with your routine. Don't worry about what you put it, it can always be cut on re-reading; it's the total recall that matters.

So, get through the first draft to the end, trying to ignore your inner critic
Stick to a schedule (1,000 words a day, whatever)
Use the senses
Don't share early on

7 comments:

Women Rule Writer said...

I have a note-to-self pinned to the noticeboard above my desk:
'The story you're writing is a secret.'

Emerging Writer said...

Certainly it should be a secret before the first draft; you can talk it out quite easily and then 'what's the point in writing it?'goes the psche, but after that, I don't have a problem with telling - but no one's interested!

podpilot said...

So true, Emerging. It's very hard to resist reading a piece that's close to completion to your nearest-and-dearest-and-most-patient.

But I agree with 'women rule writer'...one must resist and let that very compulsion to share the story be absorbed into its completion.

OSLO said...

Well my first draft is certainly 'raw' and like EW no one ever asks me what I'm writing about so no temptation to spill the beans.

HelenMH said...

What a great photo. Who cares about writing - I'm just going to sit and look at that all day.

English Mum said...

I guess I'm slightly different as I write recipes, but the temptation to show people is great. I'm at that awful stage where the draft is at the publisher's and I'm waiting for a yes or no. Expecting a no so I won't be disappointed!!

Emerging Writer said...

Fingers Crossed for you. The only thing to do, I think, is to push it to the back of your mind and launch yourself into the next project. Have you got one?