I’m not sure it ever properly came across to me from the advice of other writers just how horrible first drafts actually are. I think that was one of the biggest ‘Ah Ha!’ moments for me, and I know some people’s first drafts look better than others, but I’ll tell you, I think I am at the bottom of the heap. What I started out with is just so far gone from what the story looks like now (and I’m still not near to publishable ready) and it really is turning into something great.
This is my second week where I planned to work on scenes involving Archer and Slayer. Since I finished those last week, I decided to go back to the beginning of the story and clean it up. I have been able to put in some more foreshadowing, nailed down some of the wavering character motivations at the beginning of the book, and now they all actually have fighting styles!
I love going back to the beginning of a story because it’s always so much more polished than the end. It makes me feel good about how far I’ve come before I get back into the still rough later part of the book. I just push the polish forward a little bit at a time with each iteration and eventually the book gets ‘done’ and then I just go back over it again and again.
I’ll have to play around with balancing how often I go back to the beginning and how often I put my nose to the grindstone and push through the new material, since the obvious downside of this method is that the beginning gets a lot more polish than the ending bits. But recently I think I may have been grind-stoning a little bit too much and I was just finding myself discouraged and stuck in a place where I didn’t think any of my writing was any good.