First Drafts · Writing

Letting go of first drafts

downloadThe bond between writer & first draft is something akin to mother and baby. This is especially true if it’s the first one you’ve written/given birth too. You love your first draft unconditionally, however bad the story/main character/grammar is. You are blind to any faults it has, mainly because you are so proud that you, YOU, made this wonderful, beautiful, crying, pooing thing.

i may have got my metaphors mixed up a tad there but the message is (hopefully) clear. A first draft of anything (book, poem, letter) is a HUGE accomplishment and when you are ready to sit down and edit you kind of don’t want to. It is your baby, your love, your passion all rolled up into paper and printed for you to see. It’s those hours of work you put in, the time spent plotting and thinking up characters and researching. Editing is tough, and sometimes it feels like you are tearing apart all that earlier work.

The thing is, unless you are some kind of genius, your first draft is probably maybe going to be not as good as you want it to be. And that is fine – that is completely normal, but it’s hard admitting that all the hard work you’ve put in thus far is just a draft that a whole lot more work is going to try and make better.

Letting go of draft one is a necessary step in making your project better. I know how easy it is to let a great story rot in a cupboard because of fear of letting go of draft one. The best thing (in my opinion) in to be completely and utterly ruthless. I recently redrafted a story and cut out every single scene that I either A) wasn’t happy with or B) didn’t fit into the story and I have to say, it made that re-draft a lot easier. It may not work for everyone, but it worked for me.

Anyway, that ends this slightly rambling post. I am a bit crazy with NaNoWriMo at the moment, so forgive me. Have a lovely weekend everybody πŸ™‚

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