1. Feral Inferno
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    Feral Inferno Member

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    To edit early, or not to edit early?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Feral Inferno, Aug 18, 2014.

    So, I'm on the second chapter of my novel, and I find myself editing and trying to improve the first chapter. I've already gone through four, soon to be five, versions of the intro, but that definitely needed improvement. I've made other improvements throughout the first chapter, but I was wondering: should I refrain from trying to improve the story before I finish the first draft?
     
  2. friendly_meese
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    friendly_meese Member

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    What I've heard is that it's important to get that first draft completed before you begin rewrites, because, if you start rewriting before the first draft is finished, you go into an infinite rewrite loop and end up never finishing the draft. Not only have several people said that to me, but that has been my own experience with writing novels. You might be better off pushing through and finishing that first draft before you do rewrites.
     
  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    If editing is stopping you from progressing, I'd say stop or control the editing.
     
  4. Feral Inferno
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    Feral Inferno Member

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    The editing has kept me from progressing. There is a method I can use: finish a chapter and read through it once, editing what I can, then finish the next chapter before I edit more. At least I can edit and still get things done.
     
  5. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I think it is important to write the story first. You need the gem before you can make a jewel.
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    This gets brought up from time to time. There are those of us who prefer to wait until we have a completed first draft before we do any editing, while others like to edit as they go. There are pros and cons to each. I try not to do any substantial editing until I have the first draft done, but if I see something glaring, I will address it immediately. For example, in my current project, I realized part way through that my original chapter plan wouldn't work, and I went back and merged three chapters into two before continuing on. But that's unusual for me.

    In the end, you have to do what you are most comfortable doing.
     
  7. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I edit as I go and have no problem finishing; I know other writers who wait until they've finished and still get caught in the never-ending loop. If it's causing problems, then don't do it. If you can still move forward, then don't stop doing it. This is another one of those writing methods that has no universal "right" or "wrong" - it's whatever gets you to The End.
     

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