Write the fucked-up part first

Maureen Gibbon, author of the excellent — and explicit — Swimming Sweet Arrow, writes the hard part of her fiction the way I do (and the way a former writing instructor insisted I shouldn’t):

When working with material that is hard to write or that makes me feel vulnerable, I sometimes write the hardest line/scene/image first. I write it as fast as I can, and as raw as it needs to be. That way, I can stop dreading it, and I can also get a good look at the thing. I also use this method to bring myself into contact with new material. I write the rawest thing I can, or something that makes me uneasy, and I try to understand what story it may be leading to. Sometimes I have to live with a particular line or image for a long time before I can write the surrounding material.

(Via the Cupcake blog.)


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