Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Roadtrip Wednesday: Rough Drafts

This week's topic is: how rough are your rough drafts?

Mine vary. It goes a lot, lot better if I outline first. Otherwise, it tends to be sort of a mess and a good part of my editing time goes into fixing everything so it makes sense. Now that I've discovered outlines, my rough drafts tend not to be too hideously awful.

But I definitely have to cut rather than add after my first draft. If there's a scene I am not sure belongs, I write it, even if it means cutting it later. I also tend to add in some redundant or unnecessary sentences, and obviously those need to be cut too. And conversations between characters can definitely sometimes go from the realm of necessary for moving the plot forward to just plain conversation. Sometimes, I just sort of forget to stop.

I like not editing what I've written until I'm done, which I didn't really used to do, and I think it's benefited my drafts, actually. When I go back and edit constantly, it takes me out of the story and the writing can get shaky.

It helps me to remember that I can always take away or add things in second drafts.


Amanda Hannah said...

This is exactly what I'm working on doing with my drafts. My writing does suffer when I'm over-analyzing, too.

Lee Bross said...

I too have to write through or I get bogged down and start editing before I'm ready. Then I will get stuck on the first three chapters for weeks! I WISH I wrote too long and got to cut, somehow I think that would be easier than going over the whole thing and adding. I mean, 1k a chapter is a lot missing!

CupofDice said...

I am writing my MT as an outline nowadays, and will rewrite when all is done. By doing this, I find that I can write a lot more and actually get a plot in the process.

Jamie D. said...

I wish I could write long and cut later. I'm a sparse writer though, so I have to add when I go back to edit.

Must work straight through the first draft though - otherwise I just get too distracted to finish!

Anissa said...

My rough drafts are such a mess. They're full of notes to myself like: (figure this out) (Add description) (What?!)

That's what revisions are for. :)

Leila Austin said...

I've always liked writing first drafts using everything I think of and pruning it back later. I have a weird writing quirk where often the stuff that I originally thought was essential isn't needed at all, and the stuff that happened by accident is just right.

I admire your willpower on the editing. I try to avoid it, but yeah. I have a hard time rereading anything that I've written without making at least one change to it.

@Anissa Mine too. I'm terrified that one day I'll miss one and someone will read something odd in the middle of a crucial scene, like (everyone seems to be SHRUGGING a lot at the moment. Fix!!!). Or worse.