Saturday, 5 November 2011

How many drafts is enough?

As you know the WIP is now Ws IP! Two volumes: one ~240k and one ~200k words, but at least I feel like I'm getting somewhere now! During a recent discussion with a writing buddy I wondered how many drafts I'd gone through - now that 'the end' is in sight (my sis tells me too many and to get them out there!), but an article in the December issue of Writing magazine with writer and publisher Stewart Ferris says that is one of the commonest mistakes writers make - sending their pride and joy out into the world way too soon! He says that it shouldn't leave the nest until Draft 10! He lists what each draft is for: tightening the structure; character development; improving the dialogue; language and imagery; restructuring; adding conflict; improving the crucial opening pages; more character development and final proofreading! It confirms what I have found in my journey - that I can only concentrate on one or two aspects as I rework the novels - oh and that's another thing - there aren't writers - only rewriters which is what I feel like at the moment!


Liz Challinor said...

Ten drafts!!!!! Jees, I will never finish a thing. Best get to the end and quick! Looks like I have years of re-writing to go yet.

My advice is work on two things; one in first draft the other in re-write. Might stop stagnation?

Su_H said...

I've seriously lost count for the BIG books. The book you have Liz is draft three - only seven to go then! :-)

Liz Challinor said...

Yes, and getting better all the time. Much tighter read.

Can't wait for the end - see how you changed it.