Wednesday, December 18, 2013

First Drafts: When to Hold and When to Fold

     Not long ago I ditched a first draft despite reading herehere and especially here that it's a big no-no. Never, never look back before the first draft is done, they say. Push forward! Don't give up!
     I gave up. I didn't care what they said. That story was not ready to be told because a) I didn't brainstorm/outline/eatenoughchocolate before I sat down to write; b) a new idea seduced me and booted the first draft to the curb; c) I talked about it too soon, without fleshing out more details; or d) all of the above.
     Regardless of reasons, I'm 20,000+ words into a new first draft and I'm still in love with it. Each time I sit down to work, there's the same giddy anticipation I feel as when I know there's a sprinkle donut to eat with my morning coffee. I'm happy again. I'm not struggling with it. I'm having fun.
     So if I've been absent lately, now you know where I've been.
     Have you ever ditched a first draft for another writing project?

   

10 comments:

  1. I think you've got to write what you're excited about and if your first draft starts to bore you, the writing won't be as good as it could be. But you've still got the draft, and can pull from it or resurrect it later. RIP. LOL. Good luck with the current WIP.

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    1. Agreed! At least I have something to show from the few months of tearing my hair out (besides handfuls of hair!)

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  2. Yup, I've been seduced many a time, lol! Have fun, and like Kim said, the other one's always there waiting for later.

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  3. Yeah, lots! I don't think there's anything sacred about sticking with a first draft no matter what. Even if you never do anything more with the partial, it can be useful later for spare parts.

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  4. I'm pretty sure something will come from this partial some day, but in the mean time, I can look at it as an EXTENSIVE warm-up exercise to the current story!

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  5. With short stories, I have definitely ditched a first draft before. (I almost always go back to it later.) With novels, so far I have stuck with them. But I'm a big believer in doing whatever works for you. So glad you went with your gut and are enjoying the new project!

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    1. I, too, have many unfinished short stories. Those seem to get cannibalized for other stories, though. I think if I had reached a certain point that I might have pushed forward to finish it. Not having invested that much time in it made it easier to leave it behind (for now).

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  6. I've ditched most first drafts and I've only returned and rewrote two of them.

    Happy writing.

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    1. Of the five I have started, that was the first one I didn't finish. Of course the jury is still out on the one I'm working on, too.

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