This was the day of AVATAR...
I was really tired from the previous day (and night!) at work and so I woke up late and feeling like I'd been through a boxing ring during the night. I was groggy and lazy. But... I didn't have that much time to type before I had to leave home again and so I more or less managed to type some twenty odd pages on that script pushing it into the eighty something pages.
It was a bit difficult because it's always a bit conflicting to type something that you know is not as good as something you might'v done three or four days ago, when you know that you could be doing something a bit better, if only you had more time.
But these days I really need to feel that there is some sense of completion in every story. If I don't lay down all the pieces of the puzzle then I don't feel quite relaxed. And, to be quite honest, I prefer to feel relaxed knowing that that story - for better or for worse - is "all there" than one third in, at a good level but still incomplete... never knowing WHEN it will be completed.
Because then what happens to me is that these stories keep coming back, over and over again. Like some sort of ghost we've created to haunt ourselves (and I actually think it's something akin to this...)
Completion is important. It frees up a lot of mind space. Even if it falls short of your initial objective.
To be honest I've never exceeded my initial objective.
On a first draft.
Probably not even on a second.
But on a third or a fourth, when the story is really there, rounded and ticking... oooh... that's another matter.
It has happened a few times.
You know why?
Because I had something to work upon. Something to improve upon. Something that I could gain some perspective about.
I mean, stories just keep turning up. Even the ones that we've finished. Some new idea, some new nuance, a slight change of perspective for that chapter that will deepen and impact on the whole.
And you take them in. Especially if you haven't published them. You make notes. You add. You cut. You change.
The story changes. But it changes to become more and more itself.
I still have ideas I want to add to The Shift and Lost Lines. It's just the way it is. Sometimes it's just another phrase that boils down all that you were trying to say for pages and pages. Making it feel simple and effortless.
And we've got to let these things come through in their own time.
But it's just easier if there's something there already to which they can latch on and resonate.
So, I keep telling myself to be fearless of bad first drafts. Their a good step towards a reasonable second draft.
And a good third.
And hopefully a great fourth...