Monday, August 10, 2009

About the First 500 words

What you see below is the typical first raw draft. Sentences have no flow, pacing is bad, there is no "cadence", and it just comes off as awkward and "over wordy". Often times my first drafts also have problems with passive voice, repeating words, misspellings, and omitted words. Which is why I am a big believer in the editing process and the "joy of revision".

After finishing the first draft of a story, it can be a while before I have a work in what I deem submittable shape. For instance, I finished the first draft of "Rite of Passage" at the beginning of May. I have just finally, on it's latest revision, gotten it to a level I feel semi-comfortable submitting to a publisher. I will probably give it one more good going over anyways.

The irony is that when I first started writing I thought of revision as a form of purgatory to be avoided at all costs. Now I'm an ardent disciple of it. I think having a writer for a friend, and a publisher who took the time to show me how I could do better, is what made a believer out of me. That and seeing for myself how something raw can be polished into being something so much better.

Ah well, back to work. First you have to finish a story before the polishing can begin.

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