Drafts... They just keep coming don't they? 1st draft, 2nd draft, 3rd draft, so on and so forth. Of course, they always serve their purpose, but with each draft comes new insights, new needs, new malfunctions. I'm still anticipating the end of my first book, and hopefully I'm coming on the last of the drafts, but it is an ongoing process. So, while this subject is fresh on my mind, I'll try to give some draft-themed pointers for my fellow writers out there!
1st Draft: The Notebook.
This is the first step after an idea has taken form. For me, I grab the closest notebook I can find and just write. That's it! It's the beauty of the first draft! No editing, no organization, no sentence structure or spelling corrections, just pure and messy words wrestling to escape the idea and form a story. And the best part? Well, for me anyway, I very much enjoy using fun notebooks and colorful ink pens for the first draft. I'm not particularly partial to using the computer until after this step, but hey! Whatever floats your goat!
1 1/2 Draft and 2nd Draft: The Computer.
Now, this is the part where some sense comes to play. My 1 1/2 draft is where I type whatever is on my notebook onto the computer. I do some minor editing while I do so, like some simple sentence structure and spelling (Thank goodness for spell check!). As for the 2nd draft stage, that's when I go threw the entire manuscript, while reading aloud (trust me, reading aloud works wonders), and fix whatever needs to be fixed. If something editing wise doesn't sound right or a character says something uncharacteristic, then that's the time to change it. This is also a brilliant way to discover when to delete some nonsense (I've had plenty of "What was I thinking?" moments). Also, keep in mind that this 2nd draft might extend into various drafts, depending on how much editing you want/need to do.
3rd Draft: The Editor.
I am very blessed to have found someone willing to read through my work and give me incredible tips and insights. This person is known as an editor. I'm not talking about the kind that writers work with after sending their manuscripts in for publication. I'm talking about someone who knows everything a professional editor would know, but will still give you the over-all say-so. Their edits are more of suggestions (unless it's a grammar issue, then I find it wise to call them instant edits). My pre-editor goes threw my manuscript once as a reader-- making sure the right questions are asked and the story is intriguing and jokes are actually humorous-- and then as an editor-- making sure that grammar and sentence structure is suffice and all that jazz. Then, she'll give the manuscript back to me with her notes, give me pointers and such, so that I can fix what needs to be fixed. Having that fresh, professional pair of eyes really helps. Again, this process can take quite a few more drafts.
Final Draft: The Celebration.
Now, I have not gotten to this point yet, but I expect quite a bit of celebratory activity. This is the point in which the book is all done and (hopefully) publishing is underway! Pop open the Dr. Pepper and bring on the chocolate, there's gonna be a Hobbit/Lord of the Rings marathon with my peeps when all is written and edited! Trust me, for all of us writers, we totally deserve at least a personal pat on the back after all that creativity has riddled our brains. Writing is hard work, guys! But it's worth it, oh is it worth it!
Is there any other writing tip posts I can do that will help you with your progressive writing? Which do you prefer for your 1st draft: ink and paper or screen and keys? Hobbit/Lord of the Rings marathon, anybody? Feel free to comment and I will most definitely get back to you as soon as possible!
Thanks for reading!
Emory R. Frie
"Stories help us remember what we never want to forget" - Neverland (The Realms Series, Book Two)
Emory R. Frie is the award-winning author of debut novel, Heart of a Lion, and the Realms Series. Emory is attending Berry College to further pursue her writing craft. Raised in Oregon, she now lives in Georgia with her family and rambunctious Scottie pup.