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Well, on to today’s soapbox drama… How’s your first draft look? If it’s perfect then you put too much work into it. I know, you’re looking at the screen and thinking I’m crazy, well you’re half right. Your first draft should be just that, your first draft. This is where you get the story down in words, not the perfect, ready for publishing manuscript. That’s why it’s called the first draft.
My first draft’s always look like a murder scene after I get through with them. They’re grammatically horrible and so out of sorts. This is where I throw everything I have at the keyboard and pay no attention to the details of spelling and paragraph breaks. Especially when I use my dictation program on my phone.
I sat the other night in a warm bath with my favorite lavender/ chamomile bath salts. A idea for my current work in process came into my mind, so I grabbed my phone and started dictating the idea. The next morning when I downloaded it into my draft document I laughed until I cried. It was horrible. If you’ve ever worked with a dictation program then you know what I mean. Many times I was so caught up in the story that I forgot to say ‘new paragraph’ or ‘open quote, end quote’. It was plain out pitiful.
It took me a few minutes to clear up the mess. Yes I do go ahead and clean the downloads from the dictation program so that I understand what the heck I was saying. I’ve actually deleted several paragraphs of my first drafts and that’s painful, but needed. Some days I get to about 3/4 of the way done and realize I don’t like where my first draft is headed, so I change the direction.
I do recommend editing your first draft before you send it to your editor. If your first drafts are like mine then it’s a must because my editor would put it back on my desk and say ‘what?’.
So how’s your first draft look when you hit the end?
As always, good writing and May God Bless You…