Monday, February 21, 2011

Clarion Writer’s Craft: How Much to Craft the Draft? « Clarion Blog

So, O Writer Friend o' Mine, do you write your first draft as quickly as possible, without delving into any revision until you're close to the end? Or is it better to get each paragraph and scene as tight as possible as you write? I posted this in response to today's article by Lynda Williams on the Clarion SFF Writers' Workshop site:

I'm a revisionist-pantser, so I tend to write as tight a final draft as possible, but with just the barest trace of a plot in mind (the characters tend to lead me by the nose through a scene). I just can't bring myself to throw together a s**t draft, but I envy those who can, and I can only point to which method works best for me.

I'm also a very visual person, so an odd habit of mine is to actually write in Word within a template of my own design, spec'd out to resemble a mass market paperback (6.88" x 4.25", with margins, fonts, paragraphs, chapter headings, etc. "just so"). This ends up creating a little extra work before submissions when I convert it to manuscript format, but that's what works for me. It's very satisfying to tap along with my words dropping into a format that is already "book-like" in appearance. Maybe in my own mind it legitimizes my words more. It definitely helps me compose structurally pleasing passages, I think. And it also helps when I convert each chapter to a PDF and drop it onto my wife's NookColor for proofing!

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