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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
Go Ahead — Write This Story: Zero Drafts 
16th-Apr-2014 03:30 pm
Weather vane

Some writers imagine a story perfectly from the start. Others (like me) fumble around before they find their footing. I learned a good way to deal with that: the zero draft. The first try at a story is only an experiment or discovery, and since nothing counts, mistakes don’t matter. For example, I finished a zero draft for a story and at the final sentence realized that I had the point-of-view character’s motivation all wrong. But I’ll get it right on the first draft. This technique works best for people like me who believe rewriting is the key to good writing, so we don’t mind redoing our work.

Whether you use the zero draft method or another means to create your masterpieces, here are a few ideas for stories:

• This is a choose-your-own-adventure story about the discovery of a doorway to the multiverse, and some universes are terrifying or compellingly weird.

• This is a sibling rivalry story in which one travels to the future and sends back sound advice, dire warnings, and lucrative stock tips, but have childhood betrayals really been set aside?

• This is a day in the life of a hobgoblin, which like all its kind is easily annoyed, and the story recounts the practical jokes it considers inflicting before making a final decision.

— Sue Burke

P.S. You can find an expanded version of the post on how to write stories in the form of lists here: http://www.madridwritersclub.com/2014/04/16/6-rules-of-writing-list-stories/

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