On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of chaperoning my son's field trip to a farm. Since I grew up in the country, I knew what I was getting into and wore old jeans and hiking boots. We clearly had two groups of parents--those comfortable with a farm's unique qualities and those who wished they could dip themselves in a vat of Purell. It made for a fun time!
Several things on the farm reminded me of my first drafts.
1. Barn cats, like secondary characters, weave in and out throughout the day, stopping for a quick pet or a nap in a patch of sunlight. They aren't the main attraction, but they enhance the overall setting.
2. The draft, like the grounds, will be mucky in some places, hard in others, and extra words (and straw) will be everywhere.
3. Subplots will need to be tended to even if they, like the penned animals, aren't in our direct path.
4. Sometimes a fantastic twist will be added for fun, much like the peacock strutting its way along a barn roof.
5. Sections of the draft will bring the warm fuzzies, and you'll feel as if you're sitting on a bale of hay with a baby bunny in your arms.
6. The draft will stink. The scent of manure, decaying crops, and wet dog will permeate the area. That's okay. First drafts can smell.
7. By the end of the draft, the chaos will have order. Farmers move through their day in a logical progression, just as first drafts do by the time we've finished them. They still carry a stinky aroma, still have mucky areas, and still have a stray cat unaccounted for, but revisions will polish all of that up.
How are your first drafts like a day at the farm?
Have a wonderful weekend!