Saturday, 16 July 2011
On writing the first draft
Even with No Wings Attached, which was my first novel, I wrote at night and edited the next day, then sent it to my friend who returned it with comments, so I could revise. I don't know any different and it works well for me. I still managed to have the 'first draft' ready after 2.5 months. Needless to say that my friend did a light edit and I had to learn a lot about writing, which I didn't know back then. It almost cost me the novel as I wanted to throw it into the Thames after the 10th round of editing. I cut out 40k, changed bits here and there, rewrote complete scenes, etc. I grew very tired of it.
Now, two years later, I still work the same way: I write, then edit the next day. The only difference is that I don't have my friend going through it chapter by chapter and that my writing is much tighter, so I end up with a pretty polished first draft. I also write slower, which means, I think about what I'm writing, I try to avoid repetition, he said, she said where it's clear who speaks, control my use of adverbs and make sure everything flows. That's my way of working on the first draft.
I'm 20k into the sequel and it already took me as long as the complete first book, but then, when I'm done in about two months, I need to go through it maybe two more times and it's ready for proofing. But 4 months writing and 1 months editing is much quicker than writing 2.5 months writing and 2 years of editing.
My advice for anyone out there is: do whatever suits you best. :-)