Writer Anne Lamott is famous for talking about the importance of writing a “crappy” first draft (well, her language is a little more colorful, but you get the idea). She argues it’s better to finish the whole tale than get lost in the weeds and stall out before the end zone (I think I mixed at least three metaphors there, which may well be a record for me).
With a few exceptions, I am a linear writer who relies on a general outline to guide my creative process.
The problem is, after writing four books, I tend to think my first draft is good to go with only a little polishing. I forget that after draft one, the most important step in my process is a thorough critique by my wife, a fellow writer who takes no prisoners when it comes to poor storytelling or clichéd writing.
On my latest project, I thought my draft was sufficient to send to some well-connected friends for possible dust jacket reviews. Then I realized one problem: my work was still a diamond very much in the rough. It needed a lot of tender loving critiquing to be ready for even my closest friends.
So, swallowing my pride, I had to ask they trash can the flawed draft while I made some necessary repairs.
My first writing career was in journalism where speed was the name of the game as we wrote the first draft of history. In composing novels, I am learning there is plenty of time for a second go around.
I've been writing stories and taking photos since I was old enough to hold a pencil and stand behind a tripod.