2016 A to Z Challenge: R is for Rough Drafts

2016AtoZDay18

To paraphrase Hemingway, the first draft of anything is going to be lousy. He uses a different word to describe first drafts, but I won’t repeat it simply because I don’t like using curse words. But, he’s right. A first draft is essentially a rough draft; full of ideas plopped down on paper, incoherent, lacking flow.

Throughout my writing journey, there are a lot of rough drafts. Some become full-fledged stories; some were pushed to the wayside, never to be heard from again. On my blog, I have a collection of short stories. Some of them, I created on the fly. Essentially, they’re rough drafts I thought were good enough to publish. Fellow writers and readers may think otherwise.

The beauty of rough drafts is that they can be refined and polished into something spectacular. I admit that I should have done some revisions and editing to some of the stories on my blog. It’s no good to rush something out there just to meet a deadline. So, I’m working on editing and refining my work as each draft is complete, especially with my short stories. Sure, it may take longer to get them out there, but I will feel comfortable knowing I did the best I could.

What about you? How do you describe rough drafts? How much time do you take polishing them?

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Author: G. R. McNeese

I'm originally from Illinois, currently residing in Georgia. I graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing. I am blessed with a supportive wife and family.

7 thoughts on “2016 A to Z Challenge: R is for Rough Drafts”

  1. I’m on a second draft right now and recently realized a huge weakness for me is that I am constantly coming up with new ways to tell my story. I want to tell so many different kinds of stories but I have to pick one to tell in this book and resolve to tell the others later. Might seem obvious but that was a huge revelation for me.

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  2. I don’t often have “rough drafts”. Since I’m more on the plotter side, and I also prefer to think on how I write the scene, my first drafts are often more cleaner and structured than one would expect. One short story, written last year, went into the anthology after several typos and grammar corrections – nothing else needed fixing. But then, it took me over 3 months to write that story (about 4700 words), so I don’t know if it’s worth it.

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    1. Thank you, Mary. I used to write my drafts with pen and paper, too. But it got to the point where I couldn’t keep up with my work. I would stop at inopportune moments, pick it up the next day. And I had multiple projects left unfinished, so it became a challenge to keep up with them all. When I downloaded Open Office, I made the commitment to type everything. Mostly because I wanted feedback from other writers. I may go back to writing my drafts, but I need to make the commitment to finishing a project before starting something new.

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      1. I read somewhere that a writer is more inspired if they write initially by hand. Not sure if that’s true. Like you, I usually wound up with a bunch of pieces of paper that I had to figure out where and how it all fit together. Thanks, GR!

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  3. I have more rough drafts than I can keep track of. I keep going back and revising — blog posts stories, it doesn’t matter. I don’t know any other way to do it. My novel took five years, so innumerable drafts. And it’s all good. I think drafts help me think, organize thoughts. If left to my own scheduling methods, I would probably never be done. 🙂

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