Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress

Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

Postby charlotte49ers » 28 May 2010, 14:48

I'm working on my first draft and while it's not 'poke your eyes out' bad, I see stuff as I'm writing that sooo needs to change, but I'm trying to plug along. So what does your first draft look like? Tons of purple prose? Adverbs and adjectives galore?

And if you say it is publishable as is, I'll cyber shank you. :-P
User avatar
charlotte49ers
 
Posts: 281
Joined: 14 Jan 2010, 17:35
Location: Georgia

Re: Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

Postby Quill » 28 May 2010, 18:19

Unreadable. And yes, purple and loaded with modifiers.
User avatar
Quill
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: 17 Mar 2010, 18:20
Location: Arizona

Re: Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

Postby izanobu » 28 May 2010, 18:55

Depends on what the first draft is. The first draft of the first novel I ever wrote was utterly crap. I scrapped the whole thing other than the idea and intend to do a full redraft of it.

The first draft of my second novel was much less of a mess. That's what years of practice and working will get you. I hate to edit, so I've been practicing getting things closer to done the first time around. The second novel got proofed, a couple parts expanded, a little bit cut, and then sent out on submission.

For me, if the first draft of a story is so bad I don't want to think about it, I start over (or give to first readers, listen to what they say, and if they think it sucks too, I start over. If they like it, I send it out). :)
izanobu
 
Posts: 25
Joined: 08 May 2010, 01:11

Re: Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

Postby deepsesh » 28 May 2010, 23:11

Personally, i don't think my first draft is tooo bad. But yeah - lots of repeating words, typos, grammatical errors and contrasting situations! Someone had to point out to me that a doctor's name i had used - was the same in england and even in Ireland, even though it wasn't supposed to be the same doctor.

But i'm waiting for feedback from agents - maybe the'll bring me down to reality :P
deepsesh
 
Posts: 33
Joined: 27 May 2010, 03:35
Location: Bombay, India

Re: Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

Postby heyimkt » 29 May 2010, 08:34

Ooh...mine's pretty crappy. I think the more I write, the better the first drafts become, but usually I find myself leaving sentences that need to be fixed, some grammar errors, and lots of scarce details. I think it's because I know I'll go back and fix them those countless times of rereading. For me, the first draft is just the base or skeleton of your story. Once you've got it all down, if it's not complete crap, then you can go back, re-type, re-think, and just redo whatever you don't like.
heyimkt
 
Posts: 46
Joined: 26 May 2010, 09:56

Re: Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

Postby Krista G. » 29 May 2010, 10:16

Interestingly, I'm finding more revisions to make in my most recent first draft (the one I'm still working through) than I did in either of my others. Is this first draft worse than the other two? No, actually, it's probably better. It's just that the more I write, the more I learn how to edit, so I'm seeing more stuff that needs fixing now than I ever saw before.
Author of THE REGENERATED MAN (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Winter 2015)
Represented by Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary
www.motherwrite.blogspot.com
Krista G.
 
Posts: 192
Joined: 07 Dec 2009, 14:47

Re: Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

Postby shadow » 29 May 2010, 13:05

The first novel I wrote the first draft sucked @SS! But as I continiue writing I really pay attention to mistakes and issues so I can change them right there so I think my next first draft is not too bad. Could take editing for sure but not a complete scrap and rewrite like my other one did.
All things writing, visit my blog http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/

ImageImageImageImage
User avatar
shadow
 
Posts: 302
Joined: 07 Dec 2009, 15:06
Location: The moon

Re: Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

Postby JustineDell » 29 May 2010, 18:45

Oh.....well, at first, I thought it was decent. I mean, it was my first. I'm not Shakespeare or anything. I tucked it away, wrote lots and lots more stuff, got a beta, and pulled it back out.

WHOA! That's all I can really say. Since the beginning, it's been through 6 rewrites. Or was it seven? Eight? It's been so many, I lost count. Plot issues, character issues, grammar problems, you name it - I had the problem. It's taken 4 months to edit/rewrite. My poor, poor, beta has read the story so many times I'll bet makes her eyes bleed. But she's been great! I reworked it from the foundation and the ending was scrapped and written from scratch.

If this tells you anything-

Original word count: 78,000K

Word count now: 96,000K

Original draft was in 1st person. 2nd draft switched to third. By the final draft I had two more characters, added another subplot, changed to "suspense" angle a bit, streamlined original character "issues", etc, etc. It's like a different story, seriously.

So, the original draft? Now I can say it went from totally sucked to decent. It's still not Shakespeare.

~JD

http://www.justine-dell.blogspot.com/

"Three things in life that, once gone, never return; Time, Words, & Opportunity"
User avatar
JustineDell
 
Posts: 293
Joined: 15 Jan 2010, 09:38
Location: Indiana

Re: Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

Postby BlancheKing » 29 May 2010, 19:16

Mine was okay actually. The writing wasn't terrible; it was just incredibly short first draft with limited details. I didn't describe anything until the 2nd draft.

First draft: 30k
Second: 54k
Third: 77k
Fourth: 89k
Fifth: 82k
... and it keeps going. I think I'm on draft 11 right now
One manuscript, One dream, One stack of stamps that needs to be bought...
Writing Process: http://blancheking.blogspot.com/
BlancheKing
 
Posts: 157
Joined: 12 Dec 2009, 05:38

Re: Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

Postby Sommer Leigh » 29 May 2010, 19:38

My very first draft was terrible. So terrible when I was finished I scrapped the whole thing and rewrote it from paragraph 1. The second draft is actually pretty great, but I have done a ton of editing as I wrote the second draft, which I find is a better way for me to work than if I write the whole draft and then start editing.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.
Sommer Leigh
Moderator
 
Posts: 1624
Joined: 02 Apr 2010, 20:07
Location: Omaha, NE

Re: Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

Postby charlotte49ers » 29 May 2010, 19:46

I noticed something else about my first draft(s). The one I'm working on now has very short paragraphs. Like, a few sentences here and there. I think my dialogue is pretty strong, but descriptions are bare. Definitely something to work on!
User avatar
charlotte49ers
 
Posts: 281
Joined: 14 Jan 2010, 17:35
Location: Georgia

Re: Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

Postby FK7 » 29 May 2010, 20:38

My first draft wasn't "total shit" or "horribad", but it definitely wasn't good.
User avatar
FK7
 
Posts: 190
Joined: 21 Feb 2010, 11:21

Re: Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

Postby wildheart » 29 May 2010, 23:13

I don't care how bad a first draft is because for me its just the most bare essentials of the story. A first draft is not meant to be the final draft. So any mistakes are welcome as you go along. For me my first drafts are about finding my themes, the soul of my story. The second draft is about making it shine. Well, until I let others read it. Then it will get ripped to shreds again.

In short, yes, my first draft sucks. But it doesn't matter because in the end I know things will come together.
http://wildheart90.blogspot.com/
A mother. A writer. A dreamer.
wildheart
 
Posts: 89
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 22:28

Re: Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

Postby wildheart » 29 May 2010, 23:16

charlotte49ers wrote:I noticed something else about my first draft(s). The one I'm working on now has very short paragraphs. Like, a few sentences here and there. I think my dialogue is pretty strong, but descriptions are bare. Definitely something to work on!


Hey! That is my problem right now too! And because of it my first draft is going to be WAY too short. I'm going to have to add so much during revision I'm kind of dreading it.

I've never sent anything out to agents before and when I remind myself I'm going to try to make that possible by the end of this year is really starting to freak me out. I am terrified of rejection.

So yeah. I've got tons of work ahead of me!
http://wildheart90.blogspot.com/
A mother. A writer. A dreamer.
wildheart
 
Posts: 89
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 22:28

Re: Okay, be honest…how crappy is your first draft?

Postby Quill » 30 May 2010, 05:47

wildheart wrote:The second draft is about making it shine.

Lol. That's what my sixth and seventh draft are for. My second is about making it readable and begin to make sense.
User avatar
Quill
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: 17 Mar 2010, 18:20
Location: Arizona

Next

Return to All Things Writing

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests