Thursday, January 31, 2013

Draft Process Unexpected

34ยบ ~ bright sun, a sweet relief after clouds & storms, calm


The other day I wrote about my ugly re-entry into the drafting process, and today, today I had the unexpected reward for that messy work.

As I sat at the desk this morning, I wasn't really thinking of drafting; in fact, I'm all-consumed with the work of putting together our student journal of academic writing and nit-picking at MLA documentation.  I woke up at 5:15 a.m. realizing that I could shorten the in-text documentation for a source in a particularly pesky essay.  That's how consumed I am at the moment.  (The text is due to the designer on Monday.)  So, after a groggy wake up routine, I had gone through my emails, read my blog list, and checked out Facebook, and there I was, confronted with an empty desk and an hour of time before going to school.

As I cast about, I saw the most recent issue of The Journal, which I've been working on reading in bits this week.  In fact, I was reading the issue when I started writing on Tuesday.  As I read today, I simply let the poems wash over me, and yes, every now and then I thought about these new voices I'm hearing in my drafts.  Somewhere in my reading, one word, "deceived," got stuck in my mind and tumbled there, even as I continued reading.  Then, for no apparent reason, the voices wanted to be listed out in a character list.  The list got my pen moving and offered a bit of clarification.

Then, a really shitty draft of something I know will never see the light of day manifested itself in my journal (burn baby burn!).

And then, bang...voila...shazam, a line about the first "voice," which is actually a plural voice, a "we" chorus" made up of a set of daughters.  (I know I'm being vague here but I'm not ready to reveal too much yet.)  And then, once that first line was out, the rest fell to the page rather quickly, and I turned to the computer to actually draft something I had a little confidence in.

While I'm not ready to reveal content, I have something to say about form.  Frequent readers will know that the sickly speaker (and much of my work prior to that series) came out in medium to longish lines and lots of couplets or tercets.  Well, this little chorus sang out in very short lines (for me), lines of only three or four words, a thin column down the left side of the page.  At first, I thought it would be one long, skinny stanza, but then the subject matter demanded several breaks. 

Ah, form & content, content & form, you are inextricably linked.

And speaking of such, I must away to the world of MLA and searching for embarrassing typos.

2 comments:

Kathleen said...

I believe in the inextricable link!

(Also, I applaud the mention of the "really shitty draft." I hate/love when I write those crapola drafts. They are necessary.)

Sandy Longhorn said...

Yay for the inextricable link. I feel like it took me years to just begin to understand its importance.

All due credit to Anne Lamott for permission to write shitty drafts. (Bird by Bird)