I’m going to be honest here. I hate rewriting. I hate editing and I’m pretty sure most writers feel the same way. Sure, there are those odd, admirable writers who love writing that first draft but also love writing the second, third and fourth drafts too. Not me.
I love the challenge of NaNoWriMo. I love the deadline of finishing 50,000 words in thirty days, and I always succeed. I need deadlines. But once that first draft is done, I put it aside and usually forget about it for months. I revel in my win and the praise I receive for winning the challenge.
Most of the time I know while I’m writing whether or not it’s worth a second draft. A few stories have been, but others are merely writing practice. There was one story I didn’t finish–couldn’t even think of an ending! I still can’t. But I don’t consider any writing done a waste of time. We don’t finish every story we start. I have several that I loved for a few chapters but lost interest in quickly.
Anyway, for those stories that I do love, for those characters I can’t get out of my head, I enjoy that first draft. It’s like a dream to create a world on paper that you’ve been working on in your head. And as hard as I try to make that first draft mere perfection, it’s always cringe-worthy.
I’m in the process of working on a third draft of a story–originally a NaNoWriMo challenge. I thought my first draft was pretty good. I have never been more wrong about a story. I ended up cutting a third of it, rewriting dialogue and working to make it flow better. You know what this work entails and it’s not fun, at least not for me. I’m on the third draft now and it’s going better, but still frustrating.
But I like this story. I believe in these characters, and it’s the sequel to my first self- published novel. Rewriting, editing and rewriting some more is time-consuming and can be hellish, but worth it in the end.
How are your drafts going? I’d love to hear your thoughts about this challenging part of being a writer.