1. Lillias
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    Lillias Member

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    Horrific First Drafts

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lillias, Aug 20, 2008.

    I am currently on Chapter Two of my new novel.
    I'm trying to go through and write out all the ideas in my head. Unfortunatly this has produced a terrible first draft so far. I'm wondering do other people have crappy first drafts or is it just me?
    I know I'll have to rewrite all of this. Which is okay , but I'd like to be able to just write it well the first time.
     
  2. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    A certain level of crappiness is something of a defining characteristic of a first draft. The fact that you recognize the crap is actually a good sign. There are too many who write crap and somehow think it is diamonds.
     
  3. Last1Left
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    Last1Left Active Member

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    Oooh, my first draft so far in (70,000 words - or around there) looks like I dragged it through the mud. I went back a few months after I wrote the first chapter and used so much red ink that it looked like my paper was bleeding. Still, it helps to revise after a certain time frame. Tighten descriptions and dialogue, get rid of the unneeded garbage -- you know, that stuff.
     
  4. mooncloud
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    mooncloud Member

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    Yes indeed. I'm working on a first draft right now (as in, I'm distracting myself from working on it by browsing these threads...) and I'm shuddering as I'm writing it. I just have to keep telling myself that I'll revise and revise and revise again and it will shape up eventually.
     
  5. Nom de Plume
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    Nom de Plume Banned

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    Oh my first drafts are definitely of the crappy. So much so that sometimes I have to wrestle myself away from hitting the delete button. The bruises are worth it.
     
  6. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    LOL! Rose that was so funny because it is so true. Nome, I found that the first draft, for me anyway, is always crap boardering on unreadable - but it gives me a frame work to build upon.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you never start from crappy, how will you ever know you are improving with every attempt?

    Practice may not make perfect, because I doubt perfection truly exists. But practice, coupled with a willingness to fall flat and feel silly before getting up again (and again and again), will make better. In this I have faith.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I would almost accept this is a dictionary definition of the term first draft! :D


    Just get your ideas out on the page. Never mind that it isn't ready for publication from the word GO. In fact, after writing, I like to let work sit for a week and then go back to it. It gives me a better perspective.
     
  9. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    I'm with everyone here. Finishing your first draft is fantastic, but it's really only the beginning of your journey, though I imagine there are some writers who will say they don't need to do much revision. I'm not one of them. I love the whole process of revising, seeing the work develop to its full potential. In fact, I'm heading off to a writing retreat for a week on Monday to complete a final draft before sending my novel off to the editor. The Tyrone Guthrie Centre in County Monaghan (Ireland). It's an artist's retreat donated to the island of Ireland by theatre director Tyrone Guthrie. Google it, it's a wonderful place.
    Sorry, I went on a bit of a tangent there. Don't be dissillusioned by the 'state' of your first draft. See it for what it is - an ugly duckling that will transform into a beautiful swan. Good luck with it.:)
     
  10. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I don't tend to work with "drafts." I don't believe in wasting time writing a story if it's not the absolute best I can make it the first time around, so that's what I do. Any revision I do afterwards is minimal and not really "revision."

    Granted, I'm in the minority, and most people don't advise writing like this especially if you're in it for publication. Many people really can't write if they feel they need to make it perfect the first time around (I'm the opposite, I can't write unless I feel it IS perfect the first time around!). So it's perfectly normal for a first draft to feel incredibly lousy. That's how most people write.

    That being said, after a few years pass, I look back on my older writings which were the best I could write them AT THE TIME I wrote them, and depending on how much my writing style has changed, yes, they can be dreadfully lousy. So I do in fact at times have "drafts"--it just takes me a few years to be able to see where I need to improve something. Even if something is the best I can write it right now, sometime in the future I can probably do a better job. I look back on things that were genuinely fantastic to me when I wrote them and shudder now, but there's no shame in it because they were the best I could do BACK THEN. That just means I've improved since then.

    If you think your first draft sucks then that probably means you've improved too; otherwise you likely wouldn't be able to see how it needs work.
     
  11. Jade
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    Jade Active Member

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    I write rubbish second drafts as well :p
     
  12. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    I hate reading my first drafts. While I'm writing them, I think they sound great. Then I set it aside, write something else, come back to this first draft and want to chuck it out a window. But that's good. That means I've improved and I know that it can be written better.
     

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