I just finished reading Alice Bradley’s post at Babble Voices about writing the first draft, being your own worst critic, and then some other stuff. Fine, then, I admit I didn’t read the whole thing. Who has time to read things? This is the Internet, with short attention sp
But her post, and Kate Inglis’ advice to give yourself permission to suck, and Neil Gaiman’s reminder that nobody cares about your first draft, has all bounced around in my skull head. I think I’ll write something today.
I’ve written unedited pieces before (in truth, most of them are unedited, apart from typos, but what I mean here is that I also write posts that just come out, off the top of my mind, as I think about whatever I’m thinking about, in real-time, how about another comma here? ,), but they’ve all been about me, what I’m doing at that moment. What would happen if I made something up? What does a first draft of my own fiction look like? And (to begin a sentence with “and”), what would a first-draft, rush-draft, bursting springtime of narrative from my brain head look like?
Sam woke on the casino floor, head throbbing from something. What was it? I don’t know. I just got here. But Sam had been here for a while, from the smell of himself (to himself), and if it hadn’t been for the friendly Amish waitress walking pased at just the right time, he would have stayed there for a….
Wait. Amish? An Amish waitress in a casino. I don’t want to take you too far out of the story here, but Jesus, how badly could I have screwed up by just putting “Amish” in that sentence instead of some other word beginning with ‘A’? I could have used “Algerian” or “Albanian” or “American” or “Asgardian” and any one of those words would have added mystery to the story, making you want to know more while also giving you information. An Asgardian waitress? Okay, so we’re doing mytho-urban fantasy. An American waitress? Ah, the casino might be in Monte Carlo or something. But making the casino waitress Amish is just insane. Ah well, it’s too late now.
The Amish (fuck me) waitress knelt down in her black and white Amishy dress and pressed a hand against Sam’s swelling forehead. I guess she didn’t mind the smell of him, but who knows what goes through the mind of an Amish casino waitress? They’re not like regular folks.
“Hello? Hello sir? Are you feeling ill-behind?” Her accent was indistinguishable from any other Amish casino waitress, but her locution was all her own. Sam focused his eyes on her bonnet. “I’m flergin. Flern. Fine,” he managed. “What about my behind?”
“Oh, nothing kind sir, that’s just me way o’ speakin’,” The Amish-now-Irish casino waitress continued. She helped Sam to his feet, helped him dust his shirt off, and pointed up to the gaping hole in the ceiling whence Sam’s coating of debris, and he himself.
“Ow,” Sam confirmed. “Apart from that one, is there a way out of this place? I think I need to make a call.”
The Amish-but-often-Irish casino waitress bobbed her bonneted head eastward, down an aisle bordered by slot machines. The casino was empty, but for the two of them, but it wouldn’t be for long.
“Okay. See ya.” Sam ran off down the aisle, noticing a twinge in his ribs, but whether it was from the fall, or the beating he had taken before the fall, he couldn’t say.
The Amish casino waitress looked down at her digital watch (with built-in-calculator) as Sam dashed away. She reached up to it with her left hand, and flipped a hidden catch. The face of the watch snapped open, and she raised it to her lips, whispering “He’s coming your way now, bro.”
Came the reply: “Got it. Thanks dude.”
Sam’s day was about to get really weird.