When it comes to switching from drafting to revising, lots of people have advice.
“Push through with your draft!”
“Resist the urge to revise!”
I try. I really do. And I can usually make it–most of the way.
But I’ve discovered recently that I do the same thing with each manuscript. The good thing is that my method fits something else people always say, “Do what works for you.”
My drafting/revising process looks like this:
- Get idea.
- Go, “Oooooh.”
- Try to forget idea.
- If idea won’t go away, start drafting. Just a chapter or two.
- Put draft aside.
- After at least a week, look at drafted pages. If reaction is “meh,” set aside. If reaction is “oooh,” outline.
- Prepare 9-point-plot outline.
- Get some feedback. Apply to outline and first pages.
- Draft. Draft a lot. Go as far as possible.
- Keep getting feedback. Collect, save, set aside. Keep drafting. Resist the temptation.
- Give in. For me, this is usually sometime before the climax. I’m questioning my outline. I’m thinking of the great feedback I received. I go back to the beginning and revise.
- Once I make it through the revision and back to where I was with the draft, I’m energized. I have a plan. I know where I’m going. At this point–and only at this point–I can finish my draft.
This is what works for me. But I only figured it out by breaking the rules that work for others. Best of luck finding what method works best for you!