‘Past Glories’; Day 17

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“Writing the last page of the first draft is the most enjoyable moment in writing. It’s one of the most enjoyable moments in life, period.” – Nicholas Sparks

Well knock me down with a feather and all that guff. I have finished Draft 1 of  Never Rains But It Pours. Let me say that again … I. Have. Finished. Draft. 1. I am as shocked as you, believe me.

My excursion to the cottage-on-a-hill was a disaster work-wise, although there were omens dotted about. The play features a rubber duck in a bucket, and not only was there a duck-shaped hot plate in the cottage-on-a-hill, but from the patio you could see a row of trees that look distinctly like a duck. No, really. (What do you mean, grasping at straws?)

Anyway. Omens or no, the rest and relaxation gained by a week away in peace and quiet seems to have paid off.

It’s been a busy year – I’m not complaining (when I say ‘not’ I mean of course ‘sometimes I do but who doesn’t’) … we all know it’s better to be busy than bored and so far this year I’ve been anything but bored. Long may it continue. Fingers crossed. Sometimes, though, I can’t help but feel I’m churning the work out and it becomes a bit … I don’t know … the spark can get lost. I’m lucky, the projects I do tend to be varied and recently I’ve been challenged with new stories and new ways of telling them, but there are times when it wears me down. Creating a world of people and their words and plots in my head, but sitting alone in a small room typing them up.

Hm. That all went a bit maudlin.

My point is … THESE moments are when it’s all worth it. Batteries apparently re-charged and able to say “that there Draft 1, it is in the bag”.

Good job, like. Today was the last day I had to work on NRBIP before devoting the next 7 days to the second draft of a different script.

I’m having a packet of crisps to celebrate. Seabrook Salt and Vinegar. Really, it deserves more but it’s all I’ve got in. The glamour.

The last-minute spurt was born from the stuff last-minute spurts tend to be born from – necessity. All the faffing about, pussyfooting on, was out the window. It was business time. Business time is usually heralded by one thing – getting up at 7am. I tried this in Scotland, but apparently it does not work across the border. Back home though, it worked a treat. Isn’t it scientifically proven or something that our brains work better in the morning? Mine does. And then it’s so proud of itself, when it returns to the computer later in the afternoon for Round #2 it can cotton on faster to what it was doing those few hours before.

Don’t get me wrong. Draft 1 is by no means perfect. It’s messy and inconsistent and overwritten and vague … but that’s first drafts for you. Indeed, in the words of Ernest Hemingway “the first draft of anything is shit”.

But it is not nothing. There is a framework, albeit loose. There are characters and a story, and a start and an end. A foundation, I suppose, to be knocked down and rebuilt.

But it’s not a blank sheet of paper. It’s a start.

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