Thursday, August 25, 2011
How ROUGH is your rough?
If you've been around this writerly blog for any length of time, you know I have no problem admitting my flaws. (There's plentiful material for blog posts that way.)
Today I'll be talking about feet. Well, er, feet in relation to writing. Hmmm... you're asking yourself. How could she possibly relate writing to feet? Hang in there and you'll find out.
You have feet. I have hooves.
You know those commercials where they show nasty, rough feet and you throw up a little in your mouth? Those feet look like a Christmas card compared to mine. The little cracks on your feet are normal. The cracks on my feet are Grand Canyons. I wear black running socks, so my Grand Canyons are now permanently black. From May to September my feet are in one of three things: water, sand, or flip flops. They are dry as dry could be. And it gets worse.... But, don't worry, I'll spare you the nasty details.
Sometimes I hear people talk about their rough summertime feet. And when I peek at their feet, I think wow, you wouldn't know a rough foot if it kicked you in the face.
My rough is rough.
I hate them. They're embarrassing. I feel the need to triple tip a pedicurist for having to deal with me.
Now, on to writing. Every novel starts with the rough draft, but everyone's "rough" is different. Some people spend three years on a rough draft. They painstakingly craft each sentence until it is perfect before they move on. When they are finished with that first draft, they may have very little needed in the way of revisions and editing.
Other people's "rough" is so rough they would rather show their nasty feet on public television than let someone read their novel the day they type The End.
These writers know a novel has to start somewhere, so they use the creative process to forge full-steam ahead. There is none or very little re-reading during the writing period.
Most of us probably fall somewhere in between. For me, a rough draft can take from three to six months. The work required after my rough draft is completed is still quite intensive. I usually must take several (like four or five) passes at full revisions and then a couple passes at copy editing.
You know what? As long as you promise to tackle those revisions with gusto, either way is okay. Last week I watched a WriteOnCon vlog with author Beth Revis. Speaking of her best selling novel, she said that probably less than ten percent of her original novel made it into the final draft!
So, where do you fall?
Is your rough draft like the picture above: beautiful, smooth, and close to your finished project? Or is your rough draft more like my feet (which I would NEVER post a picture of): rough, rough, rough and in need of serious repair?
Posted by Maggie at 7:53 AM