Today I finished the first draft of my latest short story. It’s the fifth in a series called “The Rembrandt Parables”. There is something special about finishing a first draft. I remember the movie Finding Forrester when William Forrester and Jamal have finished a writing session. Forrester reflects that the best moment of writing is reading the first draft before everyone else has a chance to pick it apart, that moment when you savor in our own creation.
The first draft is an exercise in discovery and creativity. I enjoy entering a world beyond my own. Often the lives of my characters are more interesting than everyone else around. That’s partially because the people in my stories are actively involved in what makes life interesting. Everything in their lives is significant. Monotonous elements of life are passed over with a few words.
Editing is the monotony after the adventure. The morning after the “happily ever after”. It’s a necessary exercise, a corrective for too much adventure. Still, it’s a let down from the pleasure of writing the first draft.