In one of my Q&A posts, I mentioned that I prefer revising to writing a first draft. Many readers shared their preference in their comments, and it was just as I suspected: nearly 2 to 1 prefer writing the first draft to revising (10 to 6, to be precise).
Here are some of your comments:
Old Kitty says: "I'm in full flow and loving the first draft because I don't have to worry too much about grammar and such"
Joanne at Whole Latte Life says: "I prefer revising. To me, that's when the story really gets layered, the revision process giving me an opportunity to add depth to the more rough first draft."
Jai Joshi says: "Nothing ever compares to the magic of the first draft to me, although there is a certain satisfaction in revising and polishing the manuscript to a high shine."
Julie Musil says: "It's not that I don't like the first draft, but I love it once I have something to mold."
Vicki Rochco says: "You've got the magic of the story unfolding with the first draft...but the revisions REALLY pull it together and make it sparkle."
Lisa at Leaving Nadir says: "I like the rawness of the first draft. It can go anywhere your characters want it to go. Revision is also fun in its own way as you can eliminate that which doesn't move the story along."
Myrna Foster says: "I love and hate both first drafting and revising, but revising is probably my favorite because you still get to write shiny new bits to replace those not so shiny parts."
Jennifer Shirk says: "I revise as I write. So I may write a chapter one week then spend another week revising it before moving on. It takes me awhile to write that way but at the end my book is pretty clean and ready for a beta read."
And, as DL Hammons so eloquently puts it: "Rough drafts are way more fun!! WAY!!!!"
For me, I think of first drafting and revising as two completely different processes, and I love them both. I used to prefer first drafts, but lately it seems so difficult to pull those words out of thin air, to create something out of nothing. As Julie Musil said, I really love having something to mold.
On the other hand, it's nice to write without worrying about how it sounds, knowing that I probably won't keep those exact words anyway. When I write a first draft, I give myself permission to write anything down, no matter how awful it may be. I figure I can always go back and edit it out later. The funny thing is, when I go back, I usually find it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was and I end up keeping a lot of it (though I throw a lot of it out, as well!)
Thanks to all my commenters for weighing in on this subject. If you haven't already told me, do you prefer first drafts or revisions, and why? And, even more pressing, have you finished your Christmas shopping???