I’ve traveled in Spain before, and lived there for a semester in college. But this particular trip required me to tread on some unfamiliar territory. This time around, I spent all of my time in northern Spain. Namely, in Cataluna and Basque Country. Both places are breathtakingly beautiful, with ancient villages, mountaintop monasteries, and phenomenal food and wine.
These places also have local dialects, which made communication in my rusty Spanish interesting. I imagine that, to locals, I probably sounded like a five-year-old with a terrible accent. Spaniards say that Americans speak their language like they have “una patata en la boca”–“a potato in the mouth.”
That’s how I feel about the drafts of my novels. When I’m writing a first draft, I have all these ideas. They are vivid but scattered, still trapped in my head which, I’ll be the first to admit, is a mucky place to be. Communicating those ideas in a way that readers can understand is like trying to talk with my mouth stuffed.
Drafting is the hardest part of writing for me. I come to it kicking and screaming every time. Yes, I said it. I know writing is supposed to be a labor of love, and it is. But even with an outline and notes and Scrivener and a beat sheet, drafting is a rough road for me. It’s 90% brute labor and 10% love. Revisions are the reverse ratio. That’s where I follow the forked and switchbacked roads and smooth them into a story. But until then, it’s uncharted territory, and terrifying every time.
But that’s all part of the fun, right? What about you, readers? Do you prefer drafting or editing? Leave a comment to let us know what part of the writing process is the most foreign to you.
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