We’re back for a third month of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Getting into the groove!
If you’d like to chime in and let us know your answers to the questions or drop a link to your post if you’re participating, please do so in the comments! And check out the IWSG website for more answers!
June 2 – For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?
It really depends on the time of year I’m writing and what the purpose of the project is. Sometimes I’m writing with the express purpose of publishing for the A to Z Blog Challenge or for a serial on my blog, and then my time constraints are based on that. I often write for NaNo (Camp and regular), and those novels will sit for a good month or two before I come back to them just because I’m overwhelmed and slightly burnt out.
I also hardly ever re-draft. It helps that I write mostly fluffy smut, so the storyline is…not the focus. I always have a storyline, maybe a mystery to be solved or a major character’s growth as a person. But it’s relatively easy to just write the story straight through. A good friend of mine once said that there is a market for people who write a book, give it one decent edit, and then self-publish it. I don’t think there’s a middle ground for me. I honestly think if I didn’t do that, I would just sit on the draft forever trying to make it absolutely perfect.
I think it depends on a lot of factors.
1. In general, I think most writers (myself included) tend to shelve for longer as they develop more. Most people either don’t edit at all, or edit almost continuously when they first start. I know when I started out I would often write a chapter over the course of a day or two, then edit for a week or two and then lose interest without getting much further in the story.
2. For me, length of a piece is one of the biggest influences. Yesterday, I wrote a ~500 word piece for a scholarship application. I was able to reread and edit it within a couple hours. Granted, that didn’t really get (or need) significant redrafting/revising. Longer pieces (like novels) I often rest for a month or more before I dive back in.
3. Deadlines are also a big part. If I don’t have an incentive to put it out there, or set a deadline for myself, I’ll either never come back or just edit it to death.