Writing to the End: Completion is the Battle

I’ve been helping Dear Daughter with her speech.  She picked a doozy.  A heated, biased, controversial topic for her original oratory.  One category that cannot portray the depth of her feelings or expose her own personal beliefs.  In short, it’s been nearly impossible to pen.

DD has great ideas.  She has a fabulous outline.  She has snippets of stories and supporting facts.  What she doesn’t have is a cohesive first draft.

Completion of this rough draft isn’t half the battle.  It is the full battle.  Without a complete rough draft, she has nothing to edit.  Despite the fact that her idea is compelling and seemingly amazing in its envisioned entirety, she will never succeed in competition until she gets it all down on paper.

Guess what, writers?  Our rough drafts are no different.  Every day, I have more ideas fall out of my ears than stray fur falls off Sock Dog.  Though I could take a picture for illustration’s sake, you’ll have to believe me when I say the amount is unreasonable and bordering on grotesque.  Every day, I have amazing ideas and compelling characters, yet until I can wrangle them into a cohesive story, the sheer magnificence of their existence is meaningless.

Tape this to your computer.  Completion is the battle.

It doesn’t matter how poorly you fight, you will never win the publishing war if you quit midscript.

What tips do you have for completing your novels?  What do you do when your writing stalls/writer’s block hits/your muse defects?  How do you ensure that those great ideas get written from beginning to end?

Personally, I fire my Inner Editor during rough draft writing.  I give myself permission to insert notes wherever I am regardless of where they fit into the story.  I encourage myself to gloss over sections with the briefest of mentions to transition me from one scene to the next.  This has done wonders for my sense of peace and my over-all ability to create complete rough drafts.



4 responses to “Writing to the End: Completion is the Battle

  1. Sometimes I have a complete idea for a story but although I get started, it just doesn’t seem right. Or I get partway through and I end up dithering over something in the middle. I used to abandon it, and file it under ‘work in progress’. That file was threatening to become the largest on the laptop, so what I try to do now is to stop wherever I am stuck and write the ending. And somehow, working towards that ending seems to put me back on track. Not all the time, but often enough to keep that ‘work in progress’ file to managable proportions.
    Other times I have an idea but no ending, so I just pitch in there and see if the story write itself. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t, but I figure it’s better than hanging around on the sidelines waiting for the whole thing to come right in my head.
    Good luck to your daughter with her speech. 🙂

    • So true, Sandra.

      Great point about not waiting on the sidelines. Nothing will ever get done if we wait for it. It’s only after we pitch in that we can succeed.

      Thanks for sharing how you ultimately get to the end.

      As to DD’s speech. It’s a doozy. Her topic is touchy and must be finessed. Yikes!

  2. Very true. My dad used to tell me in basketball I would always miss 100% of the shots I never took. Throwing yourself out there starts with finishing something to throw!

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