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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just Keep Drafting

I love drafting way more than revising. It's exciting to create something from nothing. But to be completely honest, there are times when I feel like I should burn my manuscript because it sucks and anyone who reads it could suffer permanent eye damage. And that makes me want to revise while I draft. It happened while I was working on my first WiP (which is why it took me soooo long to finish that). I've been told over and over and over again to ignore the Evil Inner Editor and just keep writing. Embrace the sucky first draft. But y'all, that's hard! I want it to be good now. :D

So I'm trying something new this time. I use the track changes feature in Microsoft Word when I'm doing critiques, and I thought why not use it for my writing? When I'm working and I realize I need to change a scene or add something, I go back and hit the New Comment tab and make a note of what I want to fix. Then the comment is there for me to use when I'm DONE with the first draft. So far, I have tons of colorful little bubbles out to the side, waiting for me to make my book all sparkly. It's really helping me to resist the urge to edit as I go.

So do you have any tricks to make yourself keep writing during the first draft and not edit as you go?

18 comments:

  1. That's a great idea! I usually just keep a document for "extra" stuff that I need to fix after the first draft. I've been revising for so long, I miss drafting! Hopefully I'll get to start another draft soon :)

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  2. That is a good idea. I just sent soomeone I critique I did and used the track changers. It's a great resource. I usually scribble it down on a notebook.

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  3. Michelle - The word document for extra material is a great idea, too. I hope you're almost finished with your edits so you can start drafting again. :)

    Ladonna - I use a notebook, too. One thing I've found is that I write down ideas, then I have to keep flipping to find them. I'm using sticky notes to mark those pages now, but they're getting in the way, lol!

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  4. I use Scrivener, which has a section along the side to take notes for each chapter. I too used to have the desire to edit during a first draft. But since I started taking notes, I get drafts done so much faster. And my drafts are better!

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  5. I start writing and don't stopped until I'm finished. When there's something that I need to go back to and change, I make a note on the first page. That way when I'm done I can just print out the notes and fix things as I rewrite. But now that you mention the track changes and notes, those could come in very handy. Never thought of using them that way. Track changes are great. Thanks for the idea.

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  6. Heidi - I've heard great things about Scrivener. If they ever develop it for PCs I'm going to give it a try. :)

    Jani - I hope using the track changes while writing helps you! It's been great for me so far. I can't believe I haven't tried it sooner.

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  7. That is funny, Melissa. I write them down, and then lose then. Oy. I have not moved up to sticky notes. But that is a plan.

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  8. I've used that, too. It helps. Doing NANOWRIMO in November also helps. I get a whole draft done that month each year for me to revise and edit throughout the rest of the year. I guess you could say October is my year end! :)

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  9. That's exactly what I do with Scrivener I write any comments in the side bar so I know how to revise the next time through.

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  10. Ladonna - Yes,the sticky notes help with that;)

    Eileen - I've never tried Nano before. I've always been busy with other WiPs, but hopefully I can participate this year. I hear that it's a lot of fun!

    Laura - I really want to try Scrivener now!

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  11. That is such a cute idea. I bet it helps a lot.

    I never had that problem. I love the first draft and the story flowed for me. I cleaned it up later.

    Just stopping by to say Hi. I saw your comment on Susan M.'s blog.

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  12. This is my problem, I can't stop editing as I go along.. argh!!!!

    I followed you here from Ladies who Crit.
    Hi :)

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  13. Nancy - Hi, thanks for stopping by:) You're lucky that the story flows for you during the first draft. I wish I could say the same. But I do have to say that it's way easier with my current WiP than it was for my first one.

    Cristina - Hi! Thanks for finding me from LWC! It's so hard to turn off that internal editor, isn't it? I wish it came with a mute button.

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  14. I use this now too! You have awesome ideas!

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  15. Hey, I just saw your blog over at Ladies Who Critique and wanted to say hello. :-)

    To keep myself organized I put everything in a binder. I have a blank sheet of paper for every chapter and then when I'm writing and think about something I need to change I just jot it down. It makes my life so much easier.

    -Your newest follower
    http://pawsfangsandsmiles.blogspot.com/

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  16. Megan - Thanks for stopping by:) I like the idea of using a binder that way. I used one for my first WiP and I wasn't nearly so organized, lol!

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  17. I've never thought to use the track changes in Word! I might give it a try soon.

    To keep myself from editing I make notes in a notebook, and just mark the page number and paragraph.

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