Saturday, May 20, 2017

Revision is perfecting it

Some authors try for a perfect first chapter before going on with the book.
Not a good idea. You can always fix it later, once you know what the story is. Frankly, I would go crazy trying to perfect one sentence at a time, because what happens later in my books almost always changes what I've said earlier in the books. However, if you inspect every word and seek a perfect one, you will won’t finish your novel.
Besides, no one is going to pay money for a first chapter only, even if it is perfect. 

I am a Virgo. Some of us are cursed with a desire for perfection. We seldom reach it; we just want to. However, perfectionism will ruin your writing if you let it. You don’t have to hush your perfectionist trait; you just have to say “not yet.” You can perfect the book later on when you revise it. Sure, it should be nearly perfect eventually, but it does not need to be nearly perfect right away.

Nothing you write is carved in stone until you publish it and, even then, you can make corrections. The secret draft is seldom final; it's just a starting place. Even if it's imperfect by nature, the secret draft is far more productive than sitting staring at a blank screen be-cause you're determined the first sentence you write should be perfect. Secret drafts are for experiments, adventures and easily forgiven misses. 

What works for me is to write a secret draft as far as I can and go back and fix things as they occur to me. Once finished, I print out a semifinal draft on cheap paper. Then, using a red pen, I go through the hard copy, make corrections and suggest revisions. I go back to the computer, rewrite and revise using the hard copy as my guide.

A secret draft is not supposed to be wonderful. It is usually dreadful, nothing like what you thought it would be. 
When you read your secret draft for the first time, you may consider getting out of writing. Don’t. 
The secret draft is the framework that allows you to revise it into something beautiful.

Above from the book NOVEL SECRETS,
available for Kindle: