First Drafting, Ugh

I've probably mentioned before I much I dread dislike first drafting.  The blank paper.  Pages and pages that have to be filled to make a novel.  Characters I don't know that well.  Scenes that seem to be going nowhere and sometimes are going nowhere and end up in the trash. First drafting days are the I don't wanna days of writing.

It's like exercise: even though I feel really good about having done it afterward and am happily surprised by the results, I still have to force myself to do it again the next time.

But the book won't write itself and I can't wait for the muse to show up.  She's not going to write it either, though when she does stop by, it's awesome.  Those are the eight and ten page days.  But most are plodding-along two and three page days.  Like yesterday and the day before.  And, from the looks of it, today.

I know some writers give themselves word or page count goals to get through this part.  I'm pretty lenient: as long as I've done some work to move the story along during each writing session - even just a page or two - I'm okay with that.  I try to balance discipline and laziness so the fun doesn't get all sucked out of it (I'm the same way with exercise, btw, which is probably why none of last summer's shorts are fitting right now)

I'm sure this attitude will have to change if I'm ever writing to deadline (or hired as a shorts-model).  But it's working okay for now.  I've plodded through fifty-one pages of The Box plus eleven pages of notes that include future scenes (sometimes the muse wants to write non-sequentially).

I'm second-guessing a little this time because this story - not part of The Mark series - has more of an ensemble cast and a male narrator.  In the back of my mind is the story another writer told me about her male-protagonist book going on submission and her editor telling her to change it to a female narrator.  Which would be a truckload of near-impossible work with my story and worse the farther in I go.  So, I keep wondering if my main character should be one of the girls, but really not wanting to write it that way.  Plus, if it's one of the guys, I'll get to ask my husband and friends all kinds of questions about how they think ; )