Lifting the Lid: Live Drafting (1)

I said I would do it, and here it is: my first attempt at recording myself drafting the next section of ‘The Singularity’, with accompanying commentary.

I’ll be honest: this was a strange experience, and I’m not entirely sure of the effect it had on my output (quality, not quantity — what you see is pretty much my working rate). Writing is very much a private affair. It’s hard enough to let someone see the first draft of your work, let alone expose the raw process to the general public via the internet. I felt a constant nagging in the back of my brain that I should somehow be doing something differently, that what I was writing wasn’t perhaps good enough.

Which it probably wasn’t, if I’m being entirely honest. Quality in writing most often comes in the edit, when the writer can be objective about what works and what doesn’t, polishing the rough-and-ready workings into something cohesive and presentable. The first draft is almost always a bit of a mess, the creative outpouring, unpolished and unafraid. This is the place where mistakes can be safely made, blind alleys followed, embarrassing prose set down without fear of exposure.

Yes, this is technically an edit, but it’s an edit involving extensive re-writes and first settings-down, so I think it falls (at least partially) into the ‘first draft’ bracket. I suppose I’ll know more when I come back to this work over the next couple of days, and I’ll let you know my thoughts then.

Until that time … enjoy.

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