1/15/2009

Thoughts on writing a very fast first draft

Generally positive. Between the 20th of October and the 10th of January I wrote 122,475 words, averaging roughly 1750 words a day, not counting thirteen days when I was otherwise restructuring what I'd already written or busy getting on with life-stuff. Some days I wrote more, several others I wrote less. It helped that I was working from a very detailed 15,000 word outline.

The advantage is it's a lot easier to remember what was going on in your head when you wrote a particular scene two weeks before as opposed to, say, two or more months before. What you end up with might be rough as hell, but it at least has the advantage of being fundamentally more cohesive than a first draft that takes six months to write. A quickly written draft allows you to be much more 'in the moment' of the story.

Even so, I stopped short of writing the penultimate scene in the first draft, since by the time I got there I knew I wanted to make very fundamental changes to certain major characters, and those changes would very likely be reflected in that final, as yet unwritten, scene. So I've started on the second draft. Since I'm using Scrivener, I can change the text colour according to which draft I'm writing; white (on black) for the first draft, green on black for the second. I can scan through the text I've reworked so far and see it's about 90% green and 10% white. By the time I'm on the third (yellow) draft, I'll be interested to see how much, if any, white text is left.
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