Seven Sensible Steps to Success As A Writer
Step 6 (continued): Drafting. And Re-Drafting
Most afternoons my habit is to go over the work I’ve written that morning, doing the first of many editing passes.
I’ll chop and change as seems necessary. It’s surprising how the sentences, that seemed so sprightly in the dawn, can often droop in the late sunshine.
Of course, they can also seem much better again a few days later – and thus I find it important to print out each version of my changes on the reverse of used sheets of paper. Another option is to write them in pencil on an earlier draft. It doesn't really matter so long as you have a record of them.
It often happens, when I come to the second or third draft of a manuscript, that the first version ultimately seems the best one. But as the ‘delete’ button on the word processor these days makes cutting so easy, without a record of each change it’s not always possible to remember what the first version was precisely.
Hence my practice, mentioned in earlier posts (see for example #3), to have a separate file for each chapter in which I keep hard copies of all my drafts and edits as well as the research. In this way, it’s much easier to find the material again in the later stages of the drafting and editing process.
Next: Talking it through…
Photo: Files for each chapter of Animal Heroes