So...do you have any idea where I'm going with this post? No, I'm not talking about the junk you find in your house (and yes, my house is full of junk). And I'm not talking about junk mail, either. I'm all about the writerly kind of junk. Ya know, the stuff that you painstakingly write each day. The stuff that seems to be brilliant prose as it flows from your fingertips, then shockingly turns to utter crap overnight. Sound familiar now?
What can you do about it? Is there any way to make that stuff come out right the first time?
The answer to that is a resounding no. Yeah, that's hard to hear. I know, it was hard for me. I was naive enough to think that if I took my time and carefully went over each chapter with a fine tooth comb before I sent it off to my CPs, then they would send it back with much love and accolades. Boy was I wrong!
It's taken me many, many months to figure this little bit of wisdom out for myself and I'm sure you've heard it, too. First drafts are going to suck. They are going to be crap. But they don't have to stay that way. That's what revisions are for. Now for me, I thought if I revised as I went, I could save myself a lot of time in the long run. (And I know a lot of you may be able to do that and that's great, but it has not worked for me.)
So what am I going to do now? I'm going to write straight through until this first draft is finished, and that means I have to embrace all of the junk that I will write. I'm finally at a point where I can accept that and not cringe, so my objective is to just get the story down and fix everything after the fact.
Because you can fix what's on paper, but you can't fix empty pages.
So what do you think? Embrace the crap and just get the first draft done? Or take it slow and steady, revising as you go? What works for you?