Last week was Revision Week at DearEditor.com. Different authors each day discussed their revision process. If you missed any of the posts, click here. I finished the first draft of my wip a couple of weeks ago, so the timing was perfect for me.
I was excited to finish my draft, but also disappointed. It seemed like there was more I didn't like about the draft than what I did like. I almost had to wonder if I should scrap the whole idea and move on to something else. But that's where Revision Week came at just the right time for me. I was amazed to learn how many drafts some of these established authors go through with a new project.
Robin LaFevers said she'll typically go through seven to ten drafts before she shows a project to her editor. Nathan Bransford said a novel is done for him after the third or fourth major overhaul. And here's what really got me: Cynthia Leitich Smith said she used to write a "discovery draft" to get to know her story first. Then she would read it and throw it away. Throw it away?! That's when I realized it's okay if my first draft isn't all I'd hoped it would be - it's just a jumping-off point. But now I know so much more about my characters and my story than when I started that draft. I know which parts dragged the story down and which parts really work. It's possible (probable) the first draft might actually end up in the trash, but that's okay, because it's served its purpose. I've already started working on the overhaul, and it seems like it's all coming together so much more easily this time. I'm sure this won't be the last draft either, but it will be a major step towards it.
Did you catch the Revision Week posts? How many drafts do you typically go through before the final draft?