Drafts and the Devil

Wherever you look on the internet there seems to be much hand-wringing and head-banging about drafts. Such-and-such an author did a gazillion drafts and he still wasn’t happy or so-and-so re-wrote her novel from scratch 78 times until she perfected the characterisation.

Then you pick up a Dan Brown book and it reads like he wrote it in his dinner hour whilst he was paying more attention to Loose Women than actually writing a readable piece of work.

Obviously you don’t pick up a Dan Brown book, because you have taste and self respect, I used him as an illustrative tool. I promise I won’t do it again.

I personally don’t think people need to worry too much about this kind of thing, especially a threshold number of drafts that need to be written for the writing to be up to scratch. Such thinking, in my humble and possibly worthless opinion, is anathema to creativity.

My first drafts are all pretty much how I want them. Yes, I re-phrase bits to make them clearer and maybe alter bits to tie the narrative together so as not to leave the reader floundering, but the basic story remains unchanged.

I’ve found that editing kind of strips away any raw, emotive feelings in my writing. When I kill a character and it’s heart-wrenching and I’m scribbling away to get the feelings out (for example), I don’t want to be diluting it with words.

Words are the devil.

Your first draft is good? Go with it. See where it takes you


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