“John runs through the plane gun drawn. A bullet whizzes pass his head. It strikes the cabin wall. John has nowhere to go.
Then he eyes the bullet hole. Time to get crazy. John unloads his clip into the cabin. He crashed through it and falls onto the wing. He grabs hold of the flapping seat belt to keep from getting blown off….”
Wait. Hold up. You said this impossible because more people would get sucked out and the plane would destabilize.
So what?! This is my story and I can have him fall onto a giant fluffy stuffed bunny if I want to. There’s a lesson here so pay attention: Write what you want…..in your vomit draft. Don’t get hung up on facts and physics and such. Sure it needs to be there….AT SOME POINT. But not in the vomit draft.
The vomit draft, for those of you who don’t know, is the place where you experiment and try things. This goes for any form of art….music, painting, etc. you know John needs to escape from the plane, but you haven’t figured out exactly how so you write whatever comes to mind. You can fix it in the next draft.
Don’t get caught up in the details. Get the big picture on the page. Yes, you take notes on things you want to remember, but keep moving. John has to find that thing he was looking for before that other thing happened, so you have to keep moving. Don’t stop to figure out what type of gun John is using. He doesn’t care right now as long as it works!
My vomit draft takes the form of longhand on a pad. Yes, totally old school. Very chic retro, I know. But this serves a purpose. I like to scribble and scratch out and circle and draw arrows. I like to see the mess, the chaos. Digitally, I can only delete. And the mess disappears and so does the feeling of progress and creativity. (This is something I recently rediscovered and was able to put a voice to). After this, I then type my vomit draft into the computer and this becomes my 1st draft because as I copy I know I’ll add things and cut things and correct things. And maybe, just maybe I’ll have figured out how John gets out of the plane. If not, so what. Now I have something to work with. Now I have something I can mold or pound into the shape I want.
This is the lesson. This is the takeaway. Don’t worry about whether it makes sense. Worry about getting it out. Then fix it in the draft.