1. WhenIt'sDark
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    WhenIt'sDark Member

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    Is your first draft longer or shorter?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by WhenIt'sDark, Apr 12, 2013.

    Or to put it differently; Do you add or take away material from your first draft while you're editing?

    I personally use a method that is a little like the 'snowflake' method and my first draft is almost like a very long synopsis. I do not describe the surroundings as much as I plan to do in the final version. Of course, I try to make sure that I do not add unnecessary information. I do not add things because my story simply isn't long enough. I add because I am not done yet.

    How about you?

    (I just realized that this may not fit into 'plot development' that well. If this has to be moved, please do so!)
     
  2. Thornesque
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    Thornesque Contributing Member

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    For me, personally, it varies. I mean, I add and take away a lot when I'm editing. I have to scratch unnecessary information and details, but I also have to add description to some things that aren't clear. Unnecessary dialogue that does nothing to help progress the story has to go, and places where it's unclear what's going on may need added dialogue or explanation. So, it really depends on what I did and did not do well in my first draft.

    But, I definitely write out my first draft with the idea in my head that "this could be my last draft if I do it well enough!" Obviously, I know this is never going to happen, but I try to convince myself of it, nevertheless, as I'm writing so that I'm doing my best. Unless I blatantly know I'm churning out crap that day, in which case I tell myself "You're going to edit it later, anyway..." ha.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My first draft is for finding out what my story is about. Usually it takes several wrong turns before I find my ending. So for me, revising involves ripping out large chunks of the first draft - all those wrong turns - then adding new material to bridge the gaps and strengthen what's left. My revisions always wind up longer than my first drafts. I work mostly by accumulating, not so much by deleting.
     
  4. Suffering-is-Beauty
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    Suffering-is-Beauty Member

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    I generally don't actually finish a book until I've gone through several revisions. I think I get bored and then disrupt the boredom (writers block) with revision. eventually I have a completed manuscript. Patience is not a virtue of mine though, and this might very well be the reason behind the way I write. I've read about other's writing process, and some actually write the whole book in one take which is impressive as it is something I wish I could do.
     
  5. jeepea
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    jeepea Member

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    My first drafts are written very quickly. I use a clock and push myself to do so many words per hour. I find that in writing this way, my internal editor gets left behind and my muse comes out to play. In my case, this usually means that I need to flesh out my stories as they go through various drafts. I can usually expect to see a ten to twenty percent increase in word count during the first few rewrites. Then, when I finally get my story in order and like the way it flows and how it ends, etc., I'll go back and cut everything I possibly can, leaving just the meat of the story. For my short stories, this can take between ten and twenty drafts. Writing is rewriting.
     
  6. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Same here.
     
  7. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Always longer. I write roughs about 5-6000 words a day so a lot of details are lost. After the first edit my WIP went from 70k to 122k. That said, on my current edit I'm removing the last 30k words as they will make a better intro to a follow up novel; if the first is every goes to print/is successful as an ebook.
     
  8. Logik
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    Logik Member

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    Usually my finished writing is longer. It's like the difference between a builder and a sculptor.
     
  9. sanco
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    sanco Contributing Member

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    I think it's always longer. It give me more material to work with and I can cut down from there if needed.
     
  10. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    My first drafts have come out within 2% of the final version published (after cutting and adding--mostly my publisher suggested adding a short bit here and there).

    I attribute this to having plotted out my novels. Sure, things change as I write, but it tends to keep me on track. It's what works for me, and saves time in revising subsequent drafts.
     

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