I find it really interesting what I use as place holders in my writing. In the first draft especially, I’ll put in little phrases or words that would completely not make sense to anyone but me, but I know they mean “big massive fight scene filled with blood and gore here” or “tender, loving moment between hero and heroine with lots of smooching etc”.
The latest word – blergh. Blergh, peeps. Who knew? Apparently, this means to my brain that the hero and heroine are experiencing their first real moment of URST (UnResolved Sexual Tension, another placeholder) with lots of eyes locked, beating hearts, loaded silences, skin prickling, almost kissing but not really. Blergh. Of course it means that.
These placeholders, in whatever form they appear, are really quite important in just getting the first draft done. As I’ve mentioned before, the first draft is the Vomit Draft, where you’re just trying to get the story down on the page so you can fix it later. At this stage, I don’t need to get into the nitty gritty of what my hero and heroine are feeling in that moment, don’t need to describe the emotion and sensations they’re experiencing. That’s for the second or third draft. What I need to do is write a placeholder, a word or phrase that will describe what that section of story is, a kind of shortcut for my brain, and then move on to the next scene. The most important thing is to finish, and as my film-making friend says, we’ll fix it in post.
So, blergh. It’s a thing.