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Following rules are for the rewrites.

Updated: Dec 24, 2022

When hunkering down to blast out that all important 'vomit draft', don't worry yourself with any concepts or formatting rules, just get the story out. Worrying about what happens on page ten, or the first act being too long or the third act having issues -- NO! That is going to kill your creative flow. The aptly named vomit draft is indeed just that, it bursts forward from your inner self with such a heave of energy -- let it fall to the page and take whatever shape it wants, like a real life 'up-chuck', you'll feel so much better once it's out. Then, take a deep breath, clear the mind and prepare to clean up the mess and move forward. Festering on the perfect first page or the perfect character, story arc etc etc is just picking a fight you're not going to win.

As an aside, I've found -- when I just blast through my vomit draft like a proton in a particle accelerator -- my story, characters, and sub-plots tend to take on a life of their own and suddenly I'm no longer flying the plane but I'm gliding and letting the wind do some of the work. I'm on the ride with the folks and settings I've created, and it's the best, most rewarding 'acid trip' you could ever imagine.

Relax, I do grab the controls every now and again to make sure we're still on course, but if we arrive a little earlier or a little later than expected, that's okay, because I'm sure whatever took us off our flight-path has enriched any and all experiences we've had. Now, am I saying that when you start your rewrites everything in your vomit draft will make sense? No way!

The first rewrite, that's when you put on your dark executioner's hood and start to 'kill your darlings'. But here's the good news, if you just write and get the story out of you in the vomit draft, you're not so attached to those 'little darlings' and they're a lot easier to let go. If I use my screenplays as an example, usually my vomit drafts are somewhere in the 125 page mark -- but after my first pass, I'm finding myself in the 102 page area. ** Now, genre does influence the page count.** I want my action scripts no longer than 98 pages in a presentation copy, but my drama and sci-fi scripts will most likely run in the 110 page area. Now, again -- any time I mention something specific, I AM NOT REFERENCING A VOMIT DRAFT.

All specifics are in reference to the rewrites. At the end of the day, you'll find the process that you want, the one that works best for you and I won't try to stop you, but as someone who has been banging away on a keyboard for longer than I care to admit, I feel pretty strong about my approach to the rough draft -- treat the new idea in your mind, your new story, your new characters and your new backstories like you've just contracted a bad case of food poisoning... TWO EXITS - NO WAITING... ... JUST GET IT OUT!

Let your 'rewrite crew' deal with the fallout.

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