first drafts are meant to be written on

It’s 40 pages high. The printer ink is sharp against the new paper. There’s a title, a character list. It’s pristine, and I’m fooling myself, but it looks finished.

Sometimes, I start out writing scenes by hand. Whatever paper happens to be around, even if it’s only a sticky note. I then type out what I’ve written, editing as I go. Once it’s on-screen, I move things around, read it out loud. The confident glow behind the words assures me that the play’s at least passable.

But once printed, I’m faced with another difficult challenge. There are going to be things wrong with it. I HAVE to write over some things. Words need to be crossed out. Some sections need entire paragraphs added or cut out. Even though the script LOOKS like a polished piece of work, it’s not even close.

So, I take my newly sharpened pencil, and lightly underline a section. The first mark. It gets easier after that. I mean, that’s what first drafts are for, right? To be written on.


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