QUADRIVIUM

Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

First Draft Woes

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I listened to a recent interview with George Lucas where he talked about writing the original Star Wars.  I might have heard it before, but I found it interesting that the decision to kill Obi Wan Kenobi wasn’t made until they were already shooting the picture. 

Anyway, Lucas mentioned a little about his practice of writing.  Apparently he spends eight hours at his desk every day, most of the time thinking about how not to write whatever project he’s currently developing.  He hates writing. 

Francis Ford Coppola—Lucas’s mentor and director of a little known movie about the mafia—gave him the best advice, Lucas said: just write it out as fast you can and don’t look at anything you wrote until you’re finished.  Then, go back and fix it. 

I am notorious for starting projects and never finishing them.  It used to be worse—I can now at least finish a draft of a short story if I can get it written quickly enough.  I have three waiting for rewrites.  Longer works cause me more trouble if only because they take longer to write.  And if the objective of a first draft of anything is to get it out as quickly as possible, I am stuck with shorter assignments for the time being. 

When something is left to stew alone on the page for too long without any attention, my devotion wanes, hungry to move on to something more exciting.  As much as I love to write, creating that first draft is excruciating.

If you’re interested in hearing the full interview with Lucas, you can find it on iTunes.  Just do a search for “Creative Screenwriting” and you’ll find the relevant podcast listed near the top.

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Written by taj

June 11, 2007 at 2:08 pm

Posted in stories, Writing

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