Rapid-Fire Drafting

**I wrote the following blog in October 2016 after getting home from the ATHE Conference. Feast on some old content while I try to figure out how to fit blog-writing into my writing routine!

After coming home from ATHE, I decided to get serious about drafting the full-length version of a play I've been writing in my head for three years. (Am I the only one who waits this long to put pen to paper?)

For some context, I'll say I have *~~Big Plans~**~ for this project, Paradoxysm. My plan/dream is to have three versions of this piece: a ten-minute play, a one-act play, and a two-act play. They all tell the same story but take slightly different approaches; what I hope is that by the end they can kind of stack inside each other like Russian Matryoshka dolls. We'll see.

Anyway, I got this wild idea after coming home from ATHE that I should attempt to write in a new way (for me): very, very fast.

I decided to put myself on a very strict schedule and adhere to it no matter what in order to get a full-length SFD finished in two weeks.

My husband recommended Basecamp, a web portal where you organize tasks (to put it very simply). I loved it. It allowed me to storyboard in a really straightforward way, work out the kinks that I saw in the story, and move scenes around without literally sitting on the floor of my living room and moving cut-up pages from the play around (which is a thing I did once. or twice). 

I wrote a synopsis for each scene, a basic arc, and gave each scene a deadline. Basecamp sends you email alerts on the days that scenes are due, which is the perfect kind of kick in the ass to get a scene done if you've been procrastinating or whatever.

So I gave myself two weeks; it ended up taking three. (My therapist and I decided I should ~*~NOT*~~ feel inadequate about adding a week to my timeline -- I was also in the middle moving from Ohio to Tennessee while working a full-time soul-sucking desk job.)

I wrote each scene in a separate Word doc, and then when the scenes were complete-ish, I retyped them all into one Word doc. (I know this is an insane process, but it's my process ok.)

And I finished the draft. It's a monster: 192 pages, absolutely the longest thing I've ever written. And it only took my three weeks! (plus three years.)

 

So I'm going to wait about six weeks and then return to the Full Synopsis (see blog post below) to do revisions. 

If you want, feel free to comment and share your usual process, and/or any time you've ever mixed it up like this.