Having just finished doing Nanowrimo, I read a lot of writing advice in the daily/weekly posts from people that are meant to inspire us. One thing I see all the time is ‘just get the words down - it doesn’t matter if your first draft is messy’. Or to put it another way - ‘do not edit as you go’.
I fail at this.
I CANNOT leave a misspelled word, or a badly written sentence. I just don’t have it in me. Those little red squiggles under the word make my skin itch and I have to fix them.
Some days my word count almost went backwards in Nano because I deleted whole paragraphs, but I get why it’s a good idea not to edit when hitting that monthly target is the main aim.
I have often thought that what I really need is a speed typing course. Sometimes when I get writing quickly, my letters get out of order. ‘The’ becomes ‘hte’ for example. But most programs have the ability to learn my usual typos and autocorrect them, so it isn’t a huge issue. Typing faster would be nice I suppose… *adds typing to endless list of things to do*
In my experience of writing short stories, or one shots as they are called in fanfiction, my first draft is often the best.
So I was quite gratified to read a blog post from Dean Wesley Smith where he basically denied the rough first draft rule.
He swears that “I have never heard one successful writer talk about a “rough first draft.”
Well, I agree with him. I just don’t see the logic in doing something so badly the first time that you waste hours more fixing it later, but like a lot of writing advice, you should do what works for you.