What's Your Drafting Process?

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
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What's Your Drafting Process?

Post by Leonidas » June 16th, 2011, 7:04 pm

I'm always fascinated not only by what people choose to write, but how they write it. My own drafting process is a little bit strange. My current WiP is the story I wrote for both NaNo 2009 and NaNo 2010. The draft I wrote in 2009 now no longer exists, for which I'm glad. It wasn't the right story at all. Because my computer died last August, I was free of the draft that I hated. I reworked and rewrote it for NaNo 2010, winning both competitions.

Now I'm in the middle of rewriting/editing for a second time. This time, the process goes somewhat like this:

1) Reread what I wrote in November
2) Turn on my WiP playlist.
3) Remove myself from the computer and handwrite the chapters at my desk or on my bed.
4) Retype and do some minor editing on the chapters as I retype them.
5) Let it sit for a day and then begin the editing process. Take out or add in scenes if I think I need to, look for continuity issues if there are any, make sure everything is spelled right, double check any grammar I wasn't sure on as I wrote, etc.
6) Email it to my friend who's read everything, even the draft I wrote for NaNo 2009 that I hated.
7) Edit out any issues she caught that I didn't.
8) Nervously email it off to my two mentors (by working on my novel officially as an 'independent study' at my school, I was paired with both a teacher in my school as a mentor and a local author) for them to read.
9) Meet with them for anywhere between 30 minutes to two hours and talk about what worked, what didn't, and why.
10) Change anything based on their suggestions.

All the while, I keep writing and moving forward, once I get over the nerves of oh my god, they (my mentors) will hate it/think I'm stupid, that is.

What's your process? Have you ever changed your process -- what works for you, and what doesn't?

Nicole R
Posts: 186
Joined: September 30th, 2010, 4:40 pm

Re: What's Your Drafting Process?

Post by Nicole R » June 17th, 2011, 3:58 pm

I'll admit I love writing my first drafts by hand. Somehow, the story just flows better that way. Lately, though, that method hasn't been very realistic due to the speed of life, so I've been using a combination of hand and typewritten stuff to get through my first draft (If I handwrite a section, I usually type it up within a week and do a little editing along the way).

I try to crank out an entire first draft (or at least large sections of it) before I go back through it for an edit. I also do a quick edit of each day's writing as I finish it. If I change a plot twist or character detail along the way, I simply write it the "new" way from that point forward and make a note to fix the original pieces during my larger edit.

Once my WIP goes through at least one major edit by me, I get it in front of my fantabulous crit group! We review up to 15 pages from each person every week, so it really helps me stay on track. I re-edit and polish each week's section prior to submitting it. Then, the group helps me catch plot holes or character nuances that I've overlooked, and I incorporate those edits into a third (fourth?) draft.

After getting my crit group's feedback, I do another intensive edit on my own, let the manuscript sit for several months and repeat with a final edit. Somewhere between these last two edits is when I start seriously polishing supporting materials like a synopsis, query, etc. Throughout this whole process, I'm also writing here and there on other stuff, too.

It's not an exact science, but it works for me!

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