Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Drafting V. Revising


I hate drafting. Ok, so maybe I don’t hate it, but writing the first draft is by far my least favorite part of writing a book. Now revising? Revising, I love. Allow me to share my possibly weird philosophy on that.

Writing a book is like painting (bear with me on this one). You get the idea in your head to paint a room. You know it’s going to look fantastic, and you’re excited about it. It starts out kind of fun—hey! You’re listening to music, you’re sipping a coffee, you’re painting, woo!—and then it’s not fun anymore. Your arms feel like Jello and you’ve only done one wall. But you persist, a) because you’ve started it so now you have to finish it, and b) because you know it’s going to look freaking fantastic when you finally finish. Still, you can’t see the finish line yet and most of the joy has been sucked out of it. On top of that, you’re questioning if Darkest Grape really was a good paint color choice. Probably you should have gone with the Naples Sunset, or the Purple Wine.

This is the first draft.

But then? Then you finish, and you get to pull all the tapes off the windows and replace the furniture to the room, and put the art back up on the wall, etc. And it’s just so fun! And satisfying!

This is revising. The point of writing where you finally get to see the book take shape into (hopefully) something great.

So there you have it. I love revising.

How about you guys? Which part of writing do you like the best/least?




25 comments:

  1. I totally agree. I never would have guessed that I would hate drafting but I do. NaNoWriMo is kicking my butt.

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  2. What a great way to put it! I totally agree with you, too. I used to like drafting best, but that was before I truly learned how to revise and saw how much a thorough revision could help a book. Now it's the exciting part. The whole point of drafting is give us something to revise.

    By the way, the Darkest Grape thing sounded like it came from personal experience. Hope you're happy with your walls. :-D

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    1. I'm very happy, thanks :) Glad you liked the analogy

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  3. I also love revising. Okay I say that now.....before I revise. LOL ;) I just finished my rewrite (finally!!) and actually just wrote a post on revising/resubmitting/revising/rewriting/blah blah.

    Love the post, Michelle.

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    1. Thanks, Rachel, and congrats on completing your revision!

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  4. I am dragging through the last few chapters of my rough draft. The only thing that keeps me moving is knowing how close I am to revisions.

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  5. I'm loving the painting analogy. So fitting! Love the whole post actually. Funny :)

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  6. yup, most definitely a reviser, not a drafter. Probably why it takes me forever to finish the first draft.

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  7. Revising. Nothing more intimidating than an empty white page.

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  8. I like weird things, like exams and first drafts : D

    But I'm beginning to think that detailed planning before drafting is my thing. I don't like revising, and so if I do extensive planning first, there should be less revising afterwards, yes? YES?

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    1. Ha! I sort of loved exams in school too.

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  9. It took me a while to learn to really appreciate revision. Before I learned how to do it will, I really hated it. Now revising gives me some peace of mind to think, "Hey, it doesn't matter what happens in this draft, I'll clean it up later!" so I can write faster.

    For some reason, though, I still have a really hard time revising short stories. Those I have to nail the first time, practically, or they'll never be right.

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    1. I was the same before, T! I'm less worried about editing as I go and making things just perfect the first go-round. It's never going to be perfect during the first draft stage.

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  10. I so agree. Which is weird, because I used to think I thought the opposite ... the things we learn the more we do. :p

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    1. Isn't it nuts? I feel like I'll never know even half there is to learn about the publishing world

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  11. There's a great quote from the movie "Finding Forrester." Sean Connery's character says, "You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head." I love writing with my head :)

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  12. Hmm, this is a cheating answer but I love both. Haha. I'm a super quick first drafter. (10-21 days). It's pretty much crap of course but I'm a panster so I'm just as excited to see what happens as my characters are :)

    When I go back and edit I don't remember half of what I wrote so it's like reading someone else's :)

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  13. I tried something different (No, I chickened out of NanoWriMo). I did a basic plan. Outlines make me obsess. I've taken all my critiques as I plod along and will merge them before revising.

    Why?

    I HATE revisions/editing my own work. Absolutely hate it. I love the creation part, the part of making the scenes in my head form on paper in just the right way. Putting my imagination, an HD screen in my head, into words.

    Maybe the new way will work better and help me to learn to LOVE it as well :)

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  14. There you go again Michelle, having me look at something through a different shade of glass. I struggle with revising. But seeing your point of view, I see the value of it. I agree with T.J.perhaps I'll learn to love the revisions too!

    Thanks Michelle!
    R.K.

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