I recently completed the first draft of my new book, Paper White. Currently, it sits in the virtual world of my hard drive, waiting until I return to begin another pass and another and another. Drafts are much like layers, each one covering a different aspect of the story, or character, or arc, or...
The first draft is a whirlwind of writing. For me, it amounts to nothing more than getting the story on paper. (I'm a plotter so I know where my story is going all the time, but sometimes these characters get a mind of their own and wander off on rabbit trails. Some rabbit trails are worth heading down, while others are worthless and take away from the story.) First drafts are notoriously messy creatures. They aren't pretty. They are raw and ugly, but the story is there, somewhere in the muck, we just need to mold it. (That's where the second, third, and fourth drafts come in. Only after that, can we start talking about the nitty gritty editing.)
After my first draft, the story needs to sit for a few days if not weeks. This allows my brain to disengage and be more objective with the story. I've lived in this world for the past few months. I've dreamed of this world. My thoughts need time to separate. Paper White will hang out in her little bit of virtual space for at least a week, who knows, maybe two.
During that week, I actually try not to think much about the story. I usually plot out a new tale, read, blog or think. Us writers do a lot of thinking.
But inevitably, an issue or hole about the story will reveal itself, and I'll jot it down for when I'm ready to start the next step.
Next week, I'm diving back into Paper's world to begin my second draft. Paper has spina bifida, and I'll be spending quite a bit of time making sure I get that aspect of her life right. I also know that I want to change some things at the beginning of the story so that they jive with the end.
When I first started writing, I so enjoyed the first draft stage. I dreaded the second drafts, revision, editing stages. But then something flipped in my head, I realized the story improved with each pass. Soon, a beautiful book unfolds as all the different puzzle pieces
So, the question for the week... What is your favorite writing phase? Plotting, drafting, revising, editing, etc?
Bible Verse for the week