Thursday, December 17, 2009


That's what I'm trying to be in my writing these days. I'm done being afraid that what I put on the page is wrong. Nothing is wrong in first drafts, nothing. Scribbling, misspelling, no punctuation, bad grammar, cross outs--all are allowed, expected even. First draft is when your mind should move faster than your fingers, your breath should come in excited pants, and your brain buzz with ideas. Fearless. Because no one cares, it's just a first draft.

December 17--French School (15th Century), John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. John sat crouched in the corner of his closet, way back in the dark, with his pet ferret, Ralph, curled around his neck. He and Ralph had been asleep when the roaring started. It wasn't a voice roaring, not a big man shouting in anger or pain. John was familiar with that sort of roaring. He thought that angry-man roaring was the most dangerous sound, even more dangerous than a lion roaring. This roaring was the wind. He could feel it push against the house trying to break in, racing through the woods, snapping off branches to hurl at the windows. He could feel the walls of his closet flex with the gusts like they were breathing. He raised a shaking hand to stroke Ralph's soft fur and felt the tiny body tremble. "It'll be all right, Ralph," John said in his smallest voice. "It'll be all right."

Well. That was a surprise, and all because the 15th century Duke in today's painting art prompt is wearing a narrow fur pelt around his neck. He's a weaselly looking guy too. I don't see the "fearless" thing about him at all. I'll bet he picked his own nickname to try and make himself sound all cool. So, is anyone out there? It's big and echo-y in here all by myself.

1 comment:

Pam Parker said...

So, so true -- fearless is a requirement with first drafts!
Great reminder.