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Whimsical analogy for first drafts

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Ernest Heming way once said "The first draft of anything is shit."


That quote always makes me laugh - the man knew how to string together words, even when he was being blunt!


I liken the first draft to the baking of a plain sponge cake:


You whip all the ingredients together, and throw it into the oven - a bit like the set-and-forget cycle on your washing machine.


It's the no stress cake, because you know once you've removed it from the oven and allowed it to cool, you'll have the chance to do all manner of things to it before serving it to your guests.


You can layer it with jam, fruit, nuts, or sweets, and top it with whipped cream.


You can ice it in whatever flavour your tastebuds are craving, or dust it with sugar.


You can decorate it as simply or fancifully as your heart desires.


It can be pink or blue or red or green or every colour of the rainbow.


It can be shaped into a flower, a train, a castle, or a butterfly- the only limit being your imagination.


And so it is with writing - your draft is your plain sponge.


After that its up to the writer as to how he or she "decorates" and "flavors" his or her words, to turn it into a tart, tangy, sweet, mouthwatering, or deliciously rich read.


Happy writing.

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I don't do first drafts and that's my problem. I admire those who do and I always think I'm a bad writer because I can't work this way but everytime I start a first draft the story dies.


To stay with your analogy: For me it's like looking into the cupboard or freezer, see something interesting and start to work with it. Eventually everything heads for disaster, aka I wrote myself into a corner, which somehow inspires me to try harder. I add more ingredients and at the end it still tastes good. (Or I throw it away.) ;)


I love Hemingway, sometimes.

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