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Drafting or editing? (1 Viewer)

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
I hate drafting...and sometimes I hate editing. Let's be honest I just hate it all, it's all hard...yet I keep doing it.
Do you prefer drafting or editing? I prefer editing because as I'm drafting I look at my words and go "ah, can't wait to edit that later' making an ugly sentence prettier just makes me feel so much better about my abilities, fixes things brings satisfaction to my soul, even if the 'edited' sentence is still sub-standard lol.
Gotta draft to edit though, cant edit a blank page.

Which part of the process do you personally prefer? Drafting or editing and why?
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
I like drafting way more than editing. When you draft, you get to shape the course of the whole story. But editing is just rewriting what you've already written.
Usually, some authors add or take out/ change things around. I guess that's more revising than editing, but I meant both I guess. I'm new at writing so I might like drafting more later on when I get more comfortable. I hear authors can flip flop depending.

I see you are a newer member, welcome to the forum!
 

Windsor Fernsby

Senior Member
Editing is my favorite part of the process. I am huge on writing descriptions (I think it's possibly the most important tool to make your reader feel immersed.) and using just a single weak word can ruin the whole paragraph's sense of rhythm and style. I usually spend an hour or two writing a draft for three pages worth of work. However, I spend more than a week just editing those three pages, and I don't only focus on word choice, but the length of the sentences as well.

Drafting is very helpful for spilling all my ideas on paper, though. If you focus too hard on making everything perfect the first time, your ideas won't shine as clearly as they could because they'll be more "filtered".
 

VRanger

Staff member
Administrator
If you focus too hard on making everything perfect the first time, your ideas won't shine as clearly as they could because they'll be more "filtered".
I don't really get this. The more I become a "better writer", the more I "write better" in the first place, and the idea of writing a blech sentence to go back to, when I could write a good, evocative sentence in the first place, isn't somewhere I want to be.

But as a matter of building a story, it goes deeper than that. Not every sentence is important to get "just so", but here and there, they are. I certainly want to get those right in the first place, because I'm sitting there in the middle of knowing what I'm keen to express in the moment, and I will NEVER have that level of focus on that scene again. Yes, when I go back through, I'll fiddle with sentences, pick a better word here or there, cut something redundant, but I seldom rewrite as much as an entire sentence. I NEVER rewrite paragraphs, scenes, or chapters.

If you peek at me writing, you'll see me pause for a few seconds, or maybe for a minute, when I get to a sentence I know should sell that element of the story. And then when I write it, I work on it THEN AND THERE to make sure I'm pleased with it, because ... again ... I am NEVER going to put that much focus on it later.

Further, getting those important sentences right in the first place often help me build that scene. If you think a sentence may inspire a reader ... consider it may also inspire YOU as you write.

Now, I may have answered the thread's question, but I'll be more specific. I DO NOT DRAFT. I WRITE. I love writing, and I love having just written a sentence or a paragraph I can show off ... right then. I read scenes to my wife as I write them. I'm often eager to say "Listen to the scene I just wrote". I have NEVER ONCE said, "Wow, listen to the edit I just made".

Learning to get it right as we write pays dividends. We'll never get EVERYTHING right, but the more we do, the more we learn, and that builds.
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
Which part of the process do you personally prefer? Drafting or editing and why?
I like both. Because I'm dyslexic I can write and rewrite a sentence up to twenty times until I tie myself up in knots. Sooo... I now write a scene using SOC ... I just write thoughts to words so I get the story out of my head and onto the page. Often it's just the bare bones ... a skeleton of ideas. THEN, I go back and edit. I revise vocabulary. rewrite sentences from passive to active voice... and add further layers. I write prose using very much the same method I do for writing poetry.

Writing a story and getting it down on the page is like an itch that needs to be scratched. But like an itch, if you scratch it too much it ceases to become pleasurable... if that makes sense LoL So on the editing side I need to learn when to stop scratching ...
 

VRanger

Staff member
Administrator
I like both. Because I'm dyslexic I can write and rewrite a sentence up to twenty times until I tie myself up in knots. Sooo... I now write a scene using SOC ... I just write thoughts to words so I get the story out of my head and onto the page. Often it's just the bare bones ... a skeleton of ideas. THEN, I go back and edit. I revise vocabulary. rewrite sentences from passive to active voice... and add further layers. I write prose using very much the same method I do for writing poetry.

Writing a story and getting it down on the page is like an itch that needs to be scratched. But like an itch, if you scratch it too much it ceases to become pleasurable... if that makes sense LoL So on the editing side I need to learn when to stop scratching ...
But here's the thing, which I know because I've watched you do it live ... you're not editing. You plan into type, and then you take those plans and write a sentence or the scene on top of them. You're not coming back to it after the entire manuscript is a first draft. You very much make the process work while you're in that scene ... regardless of whether you take breaks.

This may also be helpful for people, and it's something I might start doing. PiP ALSO takes comments we've made about a scene previously and drops them into the file below where she's working, then incorporates them where and as she wishes. I tend to do that from memory, which is riskier. ;-)
 

Non Serviam

WF Veterans
I hate absolutely everything about writing. I write because I love having written.

I think that I hate drafting slightly less than I hate editing. So, ok, drafting is probably the least terrible part of the process for me.
 

Riptide

WF Veterans
I suppose I'm more of a drafter. I don't mind revising/editing, but I like big pictures and when I come back to a paragraph to rearrange it, I lose the big picture of the scene I was trying for, and nothing ever looks as bad as I thought it was when I go back to look. This has caused me a bit of a headache on one of my WIP because I changed the setting and I know for a fact the setting doesn't flow like I want it to because I added it later and it wasn't a part of the process.

I'm like Vranger where I try to make it good on the first try. I don't write a sentence or a scene with the thought I'll come back to it to make it better at the end.

So, really, I like rewriting or adding entire chapters. But, I'm trying to get out of the habit of rewriting because it takes a lot of time.
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
But here's the thing, which I know because I've watched you do it live ... you're not editing. You plan into type, and then you take those plans and write a sentence or the scene on top of them. You're not coming back to it after the entire manuscript is a first draft. You very much make the process work while you're in that scene ... regardless of whether you take breaks.
That's true. I didn't realise the OP was referring to the entire manuscript. I write a scene and if I feel something doesn't work I drop in a comment to circle back later ... Like I did last night when I could not find the right word and left the sentence midway. I moved on because it was sucking too much energy ... and you kindly finished it for me as a joke ...
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
Editing is my favorite part of the process. I am huge on writing descriptions (I think it's possibly the most important tool to make your reader feel immersed.) and using just a single weak word can ruin the whole paragraph's sense of rhythm and style. I usually spend an hour or two writing a draft for three pages worth of work. However, I spend more than a week just editing those three pages, and I don't only focus on word choice, but the length of the sentences as well.

Drafting is very helpful for spilling all my ideas on paper, though. If you focus too hard on making everything perfect the first time, your ideas won't shine as clearly as they could because they'll be more "filtered".
I will spend 3 hours trying to write 400 words, and the prose still needs to be worked on. If I try to make it "prefect" on the first go then surely my page would stay blank.

Also welcome to the forum~
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
I love drafting because I can let my mind run wild into another world. A world that I can sculpt into whatever I want, and then Iive vicariously through my characters.
When I first got back into writing I had so many ideas and didn't know how to filter them, so I tried to incorporate all of them and my concept kept changing while I drafting. I ended up not completing my story/novel because well what was my story anyway? I think I burned myself when it comes to drafting. I just want to have a completed piece that can make pretty because the hard part is done. The bones are there.
Once I complete a piece longer than a short story, I hope I wont hate drafting as much. Or at lest feel more confident as I draft
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
I hate absolutely everything about writing. I write because I love having written.

I think that I hate drafting slightly less than I hate editing. So, ok, drafting is probably the least terrible part of the process for me.
phew, glad I'm not the only who writes but hates it. I dont find writing that fun tbh. If i squeeze out a 'good' sentences I enjoy it but overall the process itself is quite tiring. I like creation and story so thats why I do it.
Idk, I just dont revel/enjoy craft and prose like a lot of writers do. I didn't get into writing cuz I like pretty words, I got into it because it was how i could tell a story.

so you write because you like that you created something, not because its fun. Same.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
I hate absolutely everything about writing. I write because I love having written.

I think that I hate drafting slightly less than I hate editing. So, ok, drafting is probably the least terrible part of the process for me.
When you say "hate," what exactly do you mean? Are you saying it is "hard?" Because that is different than "hate." I hate waking up to an alarm clock, so I avoid that as much as possible, but it can be a necessary evil to living my life. Sometimes I have to push myself to get writing, but once I'm clacking on the keyboard, I'm happy as a clam. The difference is, with the alarm clock, I would never do it again, if I didn't have to, however, writing I choose to do over and over again.
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
That's true. I didn't realise the OP was referring to the entire manuscript. I write a scene and if I feel something doesn't work I drop in a comment to circle back later ... Like I did last night when I could not find the right word and left the sentence midway. I moved on because it was sucking too much energy ... and you kindly finished it for me as a joke ...
I am working on a story in parts, I plan to make a big pass before I move on, but I do plan to circle back and do different passes for different edits when its complete.
When you say "hate," what exactly do you mean? Are you saying it is "hard?" Because that is different than "hate." I hate waking up to an alarm clock, so I avoid that as much as possible, but it can be a necessary evil to living my life. Sometimes I have to push myself to get writing, but once I'm clacking on the keyboard, I'm happy as a clam. The difference is, with the alarm clock, I would never do it again, if I didn't have to, however, writing I choose to do over and over again.
Hate is me just being hyperbolic. If I actually hated it I wouldn't bother. But comparatively I don't feel I enjoy it as much as other writers or as much as I should. But maybe I need to rethink my definition of joy or realize they're different kinds.
Sometimes it feels like I "need to" instead of "want to"
 
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VRanger

Staff member
Administrator
But comparatively I don't feel I enjoy it as much as other writers or as much as I should. But maybe I need to rethink my definition of joy or realize they're different kinds
Here's where we get into semantics and the vagaries of low-flow information passing, where we'd tie up such things in minutes in face-to-face conversation.

For me, I'm not necessarily sitting here with a shit-eating grin on my face as I type. ;-) It's work. I concentrate, and I worry over being able to get the right combination of words to put over exactly what I want to evoke in the reader's head. When I do, it's a good feeling, and when I've finished a scene I like, I go back and enjoy it. Sometimes I write a sentence that amuses me, and then I DO have a grin on my face while I'm typing.

Enjoyment takes different forms at different times in the process.

But here's sort of a disclaimer. PiP and I just did a collaborative scene (a music concert). We didn't plan this type of collaboration today, but she asked me to write one character's part in the scene, so we moved back and forth, and also made suggestions for each other. At times I was laughing hard enough to get that laugh line of pain across my abdomen, and PiP was laughing, too. It was an utter hoot, and there is a lot of comedy in the scene as a result ... which I suppose we'd better get to at times, since this is a Rom Com. LOL

It's become an ongoing joke that her FMC blushes AT EVERY EXCUSE, and that's what we finished the scene with. She's just been jokingly told she and my MMC can think about getting a room ... AFTER the concert ... and stage center in front of 9500 fans in the stands. :) We thought a blush was appropriate.
 

Windsor Fernsby

Senior Member
I don't really get this. The more I become a "better writer", the more I "write better" in the first place, and the idea of writing a blech sentence to go back to, when I could write a good, evocative sentence in the first place, isn't somewhere I want to be.

But as a matter of building a story, it goes deeper than that. Not every sentence is important to get "just so", but here and there, they are. I certainly want to get those right in the first place, because I'm sitting there in the middle of knowing what I'm keen to express in the moment, and I will NEVER have that level of focus on that scene again. Yes, when I go back through, I'll fiddle with sentences, pick a better word here or there, cut something redundant, but I seldom rewrite as much as an entire sentence. I NEVER rewrite paragraphs, scenes, or chapters.

If you peek at me writing, you'll see me pause for a few seconds, or maybe for a minute, when I get to a sentence I know should sell that element of the story. And then when I write it, I work on it THEN AND THERE to make sure I'm pleased with it, because ... again ... I am NEVER going to put that much focus on it later.

Further, getting those important sentences right in the first place often help me build that scene. If you think a sentence may inspire a reader ... consider it may also inspire YOU as you write.

Now, I may have answered the thread's question, but I'll be more specific. I DO NOT DRAFT. I WRITE. I love writing, and I love having just written a sentence or a paragraph I can show off ... right then. I read scenes to my wife as I write them. I'm often eager to say "Listen to the scene I just wrote". I have NEVER ONCE said, "Wow, listen to the edit I just made".

Learning to get it right as we write pays dividends. We'll never get EVERYTHING right, but the more we do, the more we learn, and that builds.
I just meant that I can’t write everything perfectly the first time. If I try too hard to make everything sound professional, rhythmic, and engaging in the first draft, I’d just be writing one paragraph over and over and I’d never be able to get to the rest of the actual story. I am sorry if my words came across as confusing, I don’t want to offend anyone.
 
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