The Story Of A First Draft (Part One)

spotlightAs noted in the previous blog post, Betsy and the Muse have been taking a good hard look at how Betsy writes.  They figured that if they could see what Betsy is actually doing in her writing process, they might be able to improve it and speed things up at little bit.  After all, Betsy needs to get jiggy with production in 2015 if she’s going to meet her indie author/publisher goals.

Because Betsy tends to think in stories, she has written one – an allegory, if you will – to show how she seems to write a first draft.  It would perhaps have been a better plan to write about this in a more forthright manner, as other blogs do.  It was perhaps immature to create a, dare I say, dramatic rendition of the process.  And yes, it would perhaps have been kinder not to expose you, gentle and innocent reader, to the wild landscape of Betsy’s mindscape.

On the other hand, you ARE reading this blog.  What did you expect?  You take what you get.

Since things are never as short as you think they should be, this story will be posted in a three parts.  Here’s part one –



*Betsy stands in a pitch dark space in her brain* *holds up her hand in front of her face* *can’t see anything at all* Huh. Creepy.

*suddenly a spotlight shines from far away* *in the dark space it seems very bright* *Betsy squints at it* *there is a figure standing in that spotlight* *figure waves*

Muse? Is that you?

Yeah.  It’s me.

Crap! *Betsy jumps* *spins around* *loses her balance* *Muse grabs her arm to steady her* Don’t do that!

*Muse stands next to Betsy on a silver square* *Lit from below, she looks a little distorted* *shrugs*  Hey, I always surprise you. I have to get my kicks somewhere.

My heart is pounding. *Betsy fists hand over heart and takes a few deep breaths* Okay, so what is all this?

This is your story *Muse waves hand through air* *stars sparkle briefly, revealing that they are standing in dark dome*

*Betsy frowns* I can’t see a stinking thing.

*Muse points a glowing finger to the spotlight* That is where you need to end up, at least at this moment. The exact position may change as you walk towards it.

*Betsy’s mouth drops open* But how can I get there? I can’t see anything? There could be chasms or mountains or…or…crocodiles between here and there!

*Muse nods* There might.

*Betsy glares at her* So then how in the heck am I supposed to get there? And you say it’s a moving target? I’ll never get there! I can’t do it!

*Muse huffs out a sigh* How do you think you’ll get there? One step at a time. Duh!

*Betsy waves hands maniacally* One step at a time? One step at a time?  I can’t even see my hands. See? *waves hands again* One step is all it will take to get hopelessly trapped in a Fire Swamp or eaten by an ROUS! Um, that’s Rodent of Unusual Size, by the way.

*Muse slaps Betsy on back of head* Yeah, I’ve seen “The Princess Bride”, moron.

So? Then you know how it goes. One minute you’re walking right along, the next – boom! – into sucked the lightning sand! And then you’re only mostly dead! This is impossible! Inconceivable!

Okay. Calm down. *Muse puts her hands on Betsy’s shoulders* * shakes hard* You can do this. You’ve done this before. Focus.

*Betsy whimpers* Okay.

All right. *Muse pulls Betsy with her onto glowing square upon which she is standing* Do you see this?

*Betsy squints* It’s a glowing square.

*Muse sighs* Yes. It’s a glowing square. And can you tell me what it says on the square?

*Betsy looks down* It says, “Calvin left June fifteen years ago because he believed people when they told him she wasn’t good enough for him. Now he’s back in town” *looks up at Muse* So?

So, that’s your beginning. That’s the situation we’ll start with. And that spotlight over there is where you want to end up.

*Betsy blinks* That’s where they get together?

Yes. That’s the condition we’ll end with. Because this is a romance, we already know they’ll end up together. We just don’t know how or why or when or what.

Oh, is that all. Well, that’s easy then.

*Muse slaps Betsy on the back of the head again* That’s what we have to figure out because that’s what the book is about, dummy.

Ow. *Betsy rubs head* So how do we do that?

*Muse shrugs*  We just figure it out.

*Muse and Betsy talk* *glowing lights flicker across rounded black dome* *all different colors flash on and off* *days pass* *perhaps weeks* *then, suddenly, there it is – a pathway glowing very faintly from the starting square to the ending spotlight*

Wow. *Betsy looks at the faint path* What is that?

That’s the way we think things will go. That is your vision of the story, at least as it exists now.

*Betsy looks up at Muse* We don’t for sure?

Well, the story knows, but you’ll have to work to uncover it.

*Betsy pouts* That doesn’t seem fair.

*Muse shrugs* Hey, if it was easy everyone would do it.

*Betsy looks at the faint path again* So, what now?

*Muse smiles* Now you start.


Let’s start at the very beginning. It’s a very good place to start.

*Betsy draws in a deep breath* Okay. Here we go….


To be continued…





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