Monday 4 February 2013

First Drafts or Revisions?

Dear readers, I am currently in the throes of line edits for my WIP.

As I edit, I've been thinking about the different parts of the writing process, and what I enjoy about them.

Each part gives me satisfaction in a different way. The first draft streams out of me. I think about it in the shower or when I should be sleeping. I can't wait to get it out and down on paper. I enjoy spending time with characters and a story just becoming new to me.

Big picture revisions are fun too. I can see the building blocks falling into place. I feel like 'real work' is being done in getting the story to work.

Line edits are satisfying in a different way. I can see the prose tighten and improve in front of me. I feel the style and quality of my writing truly gets better at this point.

There is a point, during both sets of revisions, where my motivation becomes more about completing the act and getting to the end, than about the drive to edit.

How about you? What do you enjoy about different stages in the writing process? Do you have a stage you like best?


  1. I am not a big fan of the first draft lol! Often times it depends on the story, my current WIP doesn't want to come out of my head. However, I wrote Blindsided in a month, so ... it varies. But editing of any kind is my favourite part. I like making my words all shiny!

  2. I tend to edit as I write. They say it is more difficult that way. Maybe it but if I just think on writing, I don't get anywhere. :)

  3. I love the first draft! I love figuring out how and where things are going for my MC. I sort of hate the whole revising thing because I already feel like I've failed the manuscript otherwise I wouldn't need to revise it in the first place.

  4. editing gets old & repetitious, but i'm a whiner... i have so many new story ideas, i just want to write a draft and there you have it! but i know it doesnt work that way and do my due duty =)

    1. I know exactly what you mean.

  5. I have to say I love the first edit of the first draft. It's where the story becomes a living thing; an idea transformed into a beginning, middle, and end.

    I'm in the process of final line edits of my short story collection, and it's hard to resist not re-writing much of it! Good luck with your edits.

  6. I enjoy both stages - with drafts, I love building the world and discovering my charactes; with edits, I love making it shine and tightening the pace until I really, truly don't want to put it down!

  7. Safe to say the first draft is my least favorite. I just want it down on paper so I can see what to do with it.

  8. I read the first line of this post and said to myself "if it's the right story, I enjoy all of it." Funny how great minds think alike :)

  9. I really only enjoy the first draft. Everything after that is not much fun but then after all the hard work, I feel good having completed something and put a lot of effort into it! Good luck!

  10. Funny thing is that whatever stage I'm working on I dislike and I like every other stage at that time:) but first drafts would probably have to be my fav, since I can just be free and write what I want and how I want:)

  11. The first draft can be so much fun--it's so easy to get caught up in the excitement of the story. Edits are another beast, and if I don't let myself get bogged down, I do enjoy them. It can be hard to 'kill the little darlings' but in the end, the story is so much stronger and it's great to see that take shape.

  12. While writing a first draft can be brutal when things aren't flowing right, I still find that stage the most satisfying. I don't mind revisions for the most part, but once I've been at it for a while I start to find them monotonous.

  13. I love both, but only after I stump over the ugly blocks that like to give me a hard time lol

    I enjoy when the ideas come to me and how they unfold and the line edits are exciting because it enhances and brings the story to life.

  14. Kyra - interesting that you like editing more than drafting! Different WIPs definitely are easier/harder to draft that's for sure.

    Al - editing as you write must make it better when you get to the end though because you must think, I've done all that editing, rather than it's still to come!

    Rena - the first draft is v. satisfying and I think ALL first drafts need an edit, no failure there!

    Tara - hee, you are impatient for the next brill idea! :)

    Ellie - good luck with your edits too! Lovely description of it becoming a living breathing thing.

    Nicole - interesting and how lovely that you love it all!

    Alex - ah yes get it out then see what to do!

    J.A. - definitely has to be the right story ;)

    Lisa - thanks for the luck wishes. And definitely is satisfying putting that work in!

    TF - hee that you like whatever you are not doing!

    Lara - first drafts are fun! It is hard to kill the darlings but as you say so often worth it.

    Erin - yes it can be brutal but worth it when you feel like you have got to the end.

    SK - good way of describing what's good about the different stages!

    Thanks all for commenting!

  15. I tend to put my book up on createspace fairly early (first or second draft early), not published, obviously, but so I can order a physical proof to work with. To me it is awesome to get that paper copy in hand to read through and make marks on. The new format allows me to see it in a new light and the ability to carry it around is helpful .

  16. Heidi - sounds like a good plan, thanks for sharing!


Please comment, I'd love to know what you think! :)