From last years experience doing NaNo, I learned the hard way - after handwriting a few thousand words - how laborious it was to type it up. I mostly typed straight on to my netbook, but also had this lovely blue floral notebook: to try out ideas, make sketches, as well as writing a scene or two.
Previously, I'd never got past writing the first three chapters because of constantly editing. But this time I just got the story out (another NaNo lesson).
I used Scrivener - which I raved about last year - a writing tool most useful. After compiling the draft, I exported it to Word and pressed print. In my excitement, I forgot to run the spelling/grammar checker. Oops. I'm now doing this along side the hard copy.
RED LETTER DAY
Now the big task: edit, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. How many times was that? Heck, I hope I don't grow to hate this book. I doubt it.
ONE STEP AT A TIME
Throughout this writing process I have kept references to help me with the various stepping stones that will get me to the final draft. The following comes from an article: A One-Stop Shop, written by Stewart Ferris, and can be found in the December 2011 issue of Writing Magazine. He suggests a ten stage redraft:
Draft 1 Typing a rough copy of the finished book
Draft 2 Tightening the structure and filling gaps
Draft 3 Character development
Draft 4 Working on dialogue
Draft 5 Working on language and imagery
Draft 6 Restructuring parts of the book
Draft 7 Adding layers of conflict
Draft 8 Improve opening pages
Draft 9 More on character development
Draft 10 Proof reading for mistakes
I've also read recently that changing the font, and coming back to reread the work will highlight some errors. And in Nicola Morgan's book - Write To Be Published - I've learnt about cutting superfluous words, and purple prose, the power of the active voice, and the need to get the reader to the action.
NO ONE SAID
IT WAS GOING TO BE EASY
So, what's the purpose of all this rewriting? At the end of the day - your baby - your book, that you've sweated months/years/decades on, has to be the best that it can be.
I'll keep you up to date on my progress. Who knows what the final draft will read like?
How do you write your first draft? Are you editing along the way? Do you have a favourite part of the process? Have you used anything similar to the ten stage draft?