First drafts are by far the hardest for me, and definitely my least favorite part of writing. When ideas just come, it's fun -- but that happens all too rarely and for me the whole process is very anxious. There are terrible times of writing drivel, just because I have to put something, and frustrating waits which feel like trying to catch the wind in a sailboat on a calm day -- just stuck because there isn't any.
So I am very relieved when I finally have a nice solid draft--maybe larded with drivel (all the things I had to put when I had to put SOMETHING), but all there. Or mostly there.
As I rewrite, I fit pieces together and fill in blanks...I'll come upon a drivel scene (for me, that usually is two characters just chattering) and then (if I'm lucky) just KNOW what really happened there.
While I was taking a shower what was supposed to be there just popped into my mind. I wrote it, then celebrated by getting driven to what I find the most beautiful end of the island
and walking all the way back to the village with a friend. We stopped at two people's houses for a cup of tea on the way, but we did walk the whole way (about 8 miles, I reckon).
I don't usually talk about my work to people here, but I was so excited about what had just come to me that I had to tell her.
She said, first, that "I can see it perfectly" and "I love it," and then:
"But how could you write the whole book without knowing that?"
and, later, she kept bringing this up:
"I'm amazed that you didn't know that."
It didn't seem that odd to me-- it was what was in the box, and the heroine didn't know until that point, so why did I need to? I knew what it was made of, I knew what effect it had -- I just didn't know what it was.
And to me this didn't seem odd at all; one of the things I learned about my process from this book is that I like to know most of the characters before I start writing, and know where the story starts and where it's going; but it's better to have things to discover in the middle.
That's not fun when you don't know what they are, but when you find out, it's very satisfying.