Writing That First Draft

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Hi everybody. How do you like my new look? On the blog page, that is. I was tired of that brown wallpaper. You’re probably thinking that’s just like a woman to want to rearrange furniture. Not me. I set a piece of furniture down it stays there forever unless I’m having company and have to move it to clean the rugs.

Now words, that’s different. I rearrange words all the time. Sometimes to better places and sometimes just to throw them out. I’m beginning to think I need to throw some of my current words out the window in my new book. But I need to keep my finger mostly off the delete key right now. That comes after I get the story down the first time. Then I can figure out what I need to slice and dice. I read an article by a writer the other day in one of the writers’ magazines. She wrote her first draft by hand and just let whatever she was thinking come out with arrows pointing here and there and every direction. She said she needed to spill her story out as fast as she could to begin with. I’m all for that. I’ve read about other writers who say they rework as they go and by the time they’re finished with the first draft then they’re mostly finished with the story without having to do a lot of rewriting. I’m somewhere in between that, I suppose. I do some rewriting as I go, but mostly I want to push the story out of my head onto the paper. Well, okay electronic paper. Then I can rework and polish and make it better. At least that’s always my plan.

Oh, yeah, and about those words I wonder if I should throw out, I have to tell myself not yet. I nearly always go through a spell in every story where the doubts begin to crowd in. That old saying that you don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water is certainly true for writers. You want to hang onto the baby of your story and help it grow with lots of tender loving care and pen (or key) strokes. I’m ready for my story to be at least toddling along now or even better, mature enough to be skipping and running. I don’t care if it runs so fast I get out of breath trying to keep up. That would keep my writing muscles in shape.

I’m blogging early this weekend because I’m supposed to go with The Patriots to their gospel singing concerts tomorrow. Of course it is s-n-o-w-i-n-g! Can you believe that? And there was ice hitting the window earlier. Looks like March is going to come in like a lion. Anyway the guys have a new tenor and tomorrow is his debut singing with the group. I’ve heard a CD they made at practice. They’ve definitely got a new sound, but it’s a good sound. If you want to know how their old sound was you can go to their website http://www.patriotquartet.com/ and listen to some of their songs. You can even order their music from there as well as an autographed copy of my book, Angels at the Crossroads. That’s the true life story of their first tenor, Jerry Shepherd. Jerry is singing with them on all their CDs except “Standing for God and Country” and “Classics 2.”

Jerry has an amazing testimony of God’s grace in his life after he made some very bad choices and ended up in a Georgia penitentiary at the age of 19. Even before he got out of prison, he promised to tell his story every time the Lord gave him the opportunity in the prayerful hope that hearing his story might encourage others not make the kind of mistakes he made. That’s why the Lord put us on that old quartet traveling bus at just the right moment in time so that I could write his story down for him. His testimony of grace and forgiveness has inspired a lot of listeners and readers.

Anyway, back to the Patriots. They’re pretty good. The low down guy is my husband, Darrell. He’s been singing bass in gospel groups for over 35 years now. He loves singing in a group with that old time four-part harmony. So I’m skipping church to go hear their new sound in person.

Hope it doesn’t snow and ice us out. After the nasty ice storm we had to start February, I’m sure everybody in Kentucky was cringing at the sound of ice hitting the windows today, but it’s supposed to change to snow and not be as bad as that storm was. All of us and especially the electric linemen are hoping that turns out to be true. Those workers did a heck of a job in some terrible working conditions. In some places they’d get a new pole set to replace one broken by the ice and before they could move away from that location, they’d watch another pole further down the line snap and break. The ice was so heavy on the lines that in places people said they saw poles falling across the fields like dominoes. A lot of us are appreciating electricity more these days and what it takes to keep it lighting up our houses.

Till next time, I hope you have sunshine and joy in your lives – no matter what the weather outside is like.