Bad First Drafts

Isn’t that from Bird by Bird? It might be “shitty first drafts.” Same concept. I named my main bad guy “Moulton Leeds Overton” (Lee as his call name) because I felt like, if you were going to graft a bad branch to a living tree, you should make it clear that it’s not native stock. Moulton and Leeds are both Yankee names associated with various devils.

But then I learn the other day that Sue Allen’s great-great grandmother was a Moulton. Not even shitting you. I just picked that name for its “I hang out with the devil” qualities and Sue Allen’s grandma really had that last name.

So, of course, I had to invent some Overton brothers to leave Virginia, settle in North Carolina near the Moultons, where they could engage in orgies and wives pregnant with the wrong man’s babies and terrible murders, as you do.

I don’t know if that’s staying in.

But I enjoy the hell out of writing the ancestral Overton, even though he’s not really nice.

When I rewrite, I’m going to have to add more of him to Lee, who I kind of feel blah about, except for right now, when he’s determined to marry Sue and he keeps calling her Mrs. Overton, as if it’s already settled.

That part makes me delight in him. What a jerk.