Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Confessions From An Edit-As-I-Go Convert

So. First drafts.

I used to never edit as I go. I wrote the whole thing as sucktastic as possible, then fixed it during edits.

Not anymore.

Well, I'll still do edits after Draft #1, BUT maybe they won't be as substantial. Maybe, just maybe, my WIP's level of sucktasticness will be considerably less. 


Because I've converted to the Edit-As-I-Go approach.

 Image found here.

This new story I'm working on? It's torturing me... in a good way. I can't stop thinking about it. Whenever I reach my writing goal of the day, I want to keep going. That has only happened once (with a WIP that's currently simmering as a second-ish draft). Since I really, really, really love this freakin' story, I want to treat as nicely as possible. That means I'm taking things s-l-o-w-l-y. 

And I'm whipping out my Internal Editor.

I already blogged about the IE's benefits, but I've never actually relied on it during first drafts. This time, though, I came up with a system: 1) write 2-3 chapters a week (did I mention I'm going s-l-o-w?); 2) edit those 2-3 chapters on weekends; 3) rinse, repeat. It'll probably take me a billion years to finish Draft #1, but I think it'll be worth it. My plan is to spend Christmas holidays revising like a madwoman, so I have a few months left to work on Draft #1. *sigh*

This WIP might not go anywhere publishing wise, but OMG, it's so fun to write. You know how long it's been since I've had fun writing?

Too long. 

I'm glad I'm back in the game :)

Now tell me: do you let your Internal Editor out during first drafts? If so, any tips you'd like to share with this newbie?


  1. My internal editor comes out to play when I write my first draft. But not to the same extent. She tends to correct a few sentences but that's it (or delete things). I don't mind. It's not like I'm trying to finish the first draft in a week.

  2. I'm so haphazard. I have no strict method for anything. Sometimes my IE is at work, sometimes not. Sometimes I plot things out (in my head) sometimes I write a random scene with no idea where it's gonna go. You just never know with me.

    So glad you're having so much fun with this one! :)

  3. I'm pretty anal about things like sentence structure and diction, but I don't worry about big picture stuff while I'm drafting.

  4. Yay for having fun writing again! I love it when the fun comes back into something that's become stressful. I'm with Karen - totally haphazard. Sometimes I cruise by without editing much at all. Sometimes I'm anal about every adverb and unnecessary adjective. I don't think one way is better than the other, except that the first way requires more help from CP's to help polish and the second way sometimes makes me need a break from writing. :)

    Enjoy your SNI!!

  5. That's so weird--I've recently decided to take the opposite approach. I realize that it takes me FOREVER to write a first draft because I can't shut up my IE. Last year's NaNoWriMo was so much fun for me because I just wrote what came to mind--and I actually think that story may be salvageable (though my spelling is not). I can't wait for NaNo again this year so I can give it another try. :)

  6. I write slowly anyway, so I often like to go back to get my head into the right frame of mind. And of course I edit grammar or characterization stuff as I go. I can't help it. But plot changes usually happen during draft #2 once I can see the story as a whole.