Alan Furst: First Drafts

Alan Furst: First Drafts


When I’m done with first draft, which is the second day. In other words, when I go to work, and if you’re a writer or if you know any writers you might pass this little piece of information on from me, do not sit down at a typewriter with a piece of blank paper when you have nothing to put on it but thoughts in your head. Forget it. You’ll do terrible things to yourself. You’ll sprain your muse or whatever it is. Forget it. Don’t try to do that. What you need to have there are pages of first draft that you just don’t care about, that you wrote yesterday. Now, you start putting that first draft into second draft. Well, that first draft is coming here. And I’ll occasionally pick up a piece of paper and, you know, the trash thing is all the way to the right and the place I might keep the piece of paper is on the left. You know. And I’ll put it over on the left. Then, if there’s something here for people to see in how this work this came about and what choices I made, what I made stronger, what I diminished, what I backed away from, what felt to me too weak, too strong. You can see it all there. So whatever interest there might be in my finished work, there is something to be learned from how it got to be like that. From the process. And the process is preserved.

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