Writing a first draft is like hopping in a car and driving without a specific destination. You go where you go. For example, just when I think I have Rose’s character down, she does something I don’t have listed on her sketch — like being late. According to my notes, Rose is a responsible employee. She’s smart, an excellent worker, has many awards for her contributions, and guards that fame in interesting ways. This week I had an idea to start a scene with Rose being late for work, and her expertise is crucial to winning a visiting client. Late? What could make her late? Guess I’ll find out soon.
I am not the most patient story writer. Sometimes I get so impatient that I write my story scenes out-of-order. For example, I couldn’t wait to write Rose’s first sighting of the petal collector. Even though I still don’t know what happened to make her want to take her life, I gave her a glimpse of the person who would make her even more unhappy. That’s the way I write — things go one way, then the other, and eventually they all meet to make sense and a story.
So, Rose is late for work, and I still don’t know why.
(Click here to see the beginnings of Rose’s story, The Petal Collector.)