drafting

I'm working on a lot of projects right now, hopefully with results I can announce here soon. One thing I haven't done in the past month is much drafting. I've realized revising only scratches my itch so much until I really require putting new words down on the page. As I go on, I realize the more carefully I draft, the less revising I need to do.

Revising is necessary. But I'm getting to the point where I don't have time to do 15 revisions. I have to write, revise a couple of times, and turn the damn thing in. So that requires that I focus when I draft. I used to do more when I revised, which always made me feel like I was on a merry-go-round. This isn't to say I don't like revising. I do. I like all of it. And I've learned I usually have a very serious project on hand, something like SCAR (3 years and counting) and then my more flippant work, like short stories and QUENCHED. (I think the level of seriousness is how close it is to examining something about me.)

But something about drafting, whether it's a synopsis or a story... it's the only action that satisfies my addiction to words. New words.

Now, that's as far as it goes. Short story writing is like siphoning a pint of blood by pricking my pinky finger. I'm not sure whether I'm happy when it's finished, or just damned relieved.

Which do you like better? Drafting or revising? And why?

7 comments:

Erica Orloff said...

Mark Terry says it was someone . . . I think Stephen King (??) who said something about if you write a lot of crap, eventually you just learn to write crap (i.e., the idea of just churning out word count and so on . . . ). I am probably misquoting. But I do know once I had book contracts to write two books a year or so, I learned to write cleaner because I could not indulge in going over everything over and over and over. It's served me well. My first drafts are usually in good shape. And while I enjoy revising, I like getting fresh words down, too!

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks this way, Erica. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just kidding myself that my drafts are any good at all...
But then the editor is cool with it, so I have to get over it.

Stephen Parrish said...

I prefer rewriting to writing. It's like molding a lump of clay.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

I wish revisions felt like anything but a ferris wheel to me. The climb is great and then all the sudden you're hanging in midair with nowhere to go but DOWN!

carolwriter said...

I really don't have time for drafts. Of course, what takes me so long to get to the last page is that I revise as I go. I call it spiraling through, perfecting the last pieces as I move on to the next. By the time I get to the end, the early parts of the book are in pretty good shape. And by that time, it's due to my editor. I rely on having a bit of time to cool down and then start on the "looking at the whole" revisions while awaiting my editor's comments. I love this revision cycle and do some of my best writing during this time.

The process is tense and sometimes scary, but so far... I would like to have yet another interval and revision cycle after that, but, alas, it doesn't happen. I have to fix what I can during copyedit and proof cycles. Very carefully.

Kieron Heath said...

Rewriting certainly works better for me. It feels more natural and scratches my itch as there's always a development that crops up in the plot and cleaner writing. I think it's better to have the book in a near ready state rather a puddle of rubbish that needs sticking together endlessly.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

I compulsively revise old stuff too, Carol,in much the samevway. I've always called itbrolling revisions. Glad to know I'm in good company. :)