What's your favourite write through stage

Jo Zebedee

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I'm sure most of us go through the rough draft - semi polished - finished stage. I know some do it with the whole book ie throw out a rough draft and then polish, and some do it on a scene by scene basis ie get it to the third stage and then move to the next scene, but I think all of us redraft one way of another. (And if anyone gets the perfect, first, polished draft then I have to announce that I hate you. Sorry. :p)


For me, I like the second draft, where I'm getting the scenes in order. I usually hate the first draft when I realise I have no idea what the story is, where it's going, where the characters are going, and I often have a mild panic that there is no story. Once I get to the end of that draft and know where I'm going, then I'm happy in the second draft, honing and making the scenes what I'd like them to be. It tends to be the longest draft for me, though, in terms of putting it together.

I don't mind the polishing draft, either: it's quite good fun to play with words, to remove the thats, to murder passive sentences (and then find out from Mouse how many I missed, darn it...:eek:), and to feel that there is closure on the germ of the idea that grew.

Anyone else have favourite stages? Or stages they hate?
 

Glitch

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I like the first draft. As I get to read the story for the first time.
 

Gumboot

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An interesting question. At first I thought my second draft was my favourite, for reasons similar to springs. My first draft was generally terrible, and a meandering mess. Second draft was really the first draft.

But then I realised I tend to plan more carefully these days, and structure in advance, and I think my writing has improved a lot, so my first drafts tend to be much better, so I'd be more likely to answer like Glitch and say the first draft was my favourite.

But right now I am in final revisions on a work I've edited to death (six or seven drafts, depending on how you count it, over fifteen years), so my answer would be that my favourite draft is "the last one" whichever (whenever) that might be...
 

HareBrain

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On balance, I prefer the second draft too. I like the security of knowing that the bones are there. There can be moments of raw excitement when writing the first draft -- twists and turns I didn't see coming myself -- which are rare in the second-draft stage, but half the time they turn out to be problematic anyway.

I hate the thirtieth draft. By then the book is just smirking at me in its refusal to come right.
 

Boneman

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Glitch, I love that...

I'm rather with Gumboot on this one - each draft I do feels great as I write it, and I'm chuffed when I finish. Then I see the errors and I'm really chuffed with the altered version. Then some things are pointed out to me and I see it's not so good, so I'm really, really chuffed with the third, and so on and so on.
 

millymollymo

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I think if I had just sat down and written a first draft I would never have done it, before that draft comes the plot draft.
I'm in second/third draft at the moment, working from first and getting it to a second level. However I am finding that I am redrafting as I go even there. I'm calling it Draft Two Point Five and Three Quarters :D. I can't tell you more than that as I haven't gone beyond that on novel length.
If I am to go on short story experience I would say the stage I am at is my fav though - it comes to life here everything after this is niggly stuff.
 

thaddeus6th

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The first draft. It's the most creative, most free-flowing stage. Everything's new so there isn't any jaded feeling either.

The final check is easily the worst. The proofreading of Journey to Altmortis was the sort of punishment handed down in Greek myths, but it did mean that someone who contacted me had only spotted a single typo in the whole book, so it was awful, but worth it.
 

Mouse

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I don't number my drafts so I don't know.

I do:
1. Write through to the end (edit as I go)
2. Go back and edit some more
3. Repeat two

My favourite bit is writing 'The End' and then I can just relax and work on the fiddling. I like fiddling.
 

thaddeus6th

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Sometimes it's necessary to fiddle if you want multiple climaxes.

I'm not fond of the very late stuff. By that time I've read everything a lot, and I just want to release it.
 

Glitch

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I like the way you put that. Like the story's already there, it just needs making solid.


It's like the idea is just the trailer. Only when I sit down to write it, do I get to watch the film.

I find the whole process interesting. The first draft so far is the one that surprises me.


The bit I really enjoy the most is the spark of a new idea. Jotting down a few points to bring the creation into being. Lucky too; the speed I write, I have more ideas than I know what to do with!
 

DomDulley

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First draft is always a long hard slog, but fun. Second draft is fun until I find the massive holes I didn't spot when writing. Polish is fine.

My problem is changing lots and having to repeat stage 2 several times.
 

F.J. Hansen

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I do:
1. Write through to the end (edit as I go)
2. Go back and edit some more
3. Repeat two

This is my method as well.

The only time when I start a whole new draft is when I need to do a full rewrite. Like with my current project. I wrote the first draft twenty years ago, then set it aside for many years. When I picked it up again, it needed so much work.
 

THX1138

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I'm the same as @Mouse also.

I started on my book decades ago too and put it down in order to do research on the story.
One thing I forgot to do was to learn how to write a story and learn proper grammar.

After being diagnosed with dyslexia, I decided to change how I write. Now I just write it all down and edit as I go. Then go back a few times in order to identify and correct the dyslexia patterns and grammar errors; re-writing as I go. In the end, it usually comes out better than I first planed.
 

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