Finishing Drafts or Editing

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Last week I was very pleased with myself. Having written 10, 289 words and made lots of progress with the novel I was on a roll. But as with all creative things, the roll came to a stop, and it wasn't a slow and steady stop either, oh-no, this was a crash-into-a-brick-wall stop. 

Lots of non-writing related things have cropped up this week and sucked the time away. One minute my fingers flew across the keys and the next I couldn't get any time in front of the computer. Tuesday (midday) is the first time I have looked at my computer since Friday. Kids parties, chores and meetings stole my writing time.

At the end of last week I made the terrible mistake of reading what I'd written. It was dreadful. I re-read it to jog my memory but instead I gave the self-doubt demon an entrance. All day Friday I battled the awful creature and tried to convince myself it didn't matter if the draft was rubbish; editing would sort it out. Nothing helped though and no words came.

All weekend I've thought about the novel and the self-doubt demon is gone, at least for now. But now I'm wondering about something else. I gave my first chapter to a friend a few weeks ago and she loved it. She keeps asking me about the next chapter but it's not ready. Do I go back and edit the second chapter so she can read it or do I carry on and finish the draft? I'd love to get feedback but maybe it's too soon and I'll lose momentum if I edit.

I know in earlier weeks and on others' blogs I've advised to finish the draft first but when the opportunity for feedback comes along do you ignore it? I'd love to hear what you all think.

Writing Bubble

16 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear the demon has paid you a visit although I'm glad you've got rid of him for now. Hope he stays away!

    As for the feedback/editing dilemma - i can see the temptation to edit and give the next chapter to your friend, particularly as she liked Chapter 1 - positive feedback can be very empowering! But I'd stick to writing. If you edit the next chapter and she loves it, what then? Do you then have to edit chapter 3? You could get tangled up and struggle to move forwards. That's my gut feeling anyway!

    Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting and good luck with writing this week. hope you find more time! xx

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    1. Thanks Maddy. I'm currently struggling with flu and it's hard to move and hurts to think. :( But I'm sure I'll push through it. Thank you for the advice, it seems that's the opinion of most. I did write the next chapter in my draft instead of editing, so that's good. :)

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  2. Yes, I agree with Maddy. I'd stick with the writing for now. It could ultimately end up getting you into a bit of a pickle otherwise. I'd harness that positive feedback and use it to ensue the self doubt demon doesn't get too much of a look in. But these are just my thoughts obviously, and I hope you find the opportunity to carve out more time soon :)

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    1. I am using that positive feedback, although I'm not sure it'll keep that demon away indefinitely. I am sticking with the writing, you're all right - it would just distract from the creation. Hopefully I'll finish the draft quicker and get to the editing soon. :)

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  3. I would also lean towards focusing on the writing if you can, particularly if you've managed to quell the self-doubt demon for now! I'm sure your friend will still be up for giving you feedback when you're a bit more ready. I hope this week is more productive for you on the writing front. I fear I'm about to enter into a phase of having no time to write at all - hopefully I'll manage to get something done!! X

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    1. Oh no Sophie I hope you do get some time for writing. It always makes me feel rubbish when I have no writing time. I'm hoping for a more productive week, although battling the flu is my main aim at the moment. :)

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  4. For me, I'd suggest going ahead and writing the next chapter. Then you could maybe edit the first chapter while your friends reading the 2nd...or start writing the 3rd. #WhatImWriting

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    1. Thanks Carol. I have written six chapters so far, but they're all still a bit raw (apart from Ch1). If I can battle through to the end of the draft I'll be able to edit. I just hope I get there quick! :)

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  5. I'm one for finishing before you go back and edit. I think yo uhave to write the crappy bits to be able to pick out the good bits and see what works. I'm currently rewriting a whole subplot and character, so it wouldn't have made sense to get feedback. Having said that, the rewrite is because I got feedback on a first draft (stupid, I know.) I do believe you have to at least write The End the first time to know where you want it to go though.
    Thank you for linking up to #whatimwriting and good luck, whatever you decide x

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    1. Thanks Chrissie. It does sound like this question pretty much answers itself. I *know* I'm supposed to finish, but that positive feedback on Ch1 just pricks my ego I guess! I have continued writing and am currently slotting an extra chapter in, which I hadn't considered before. It's all very confusing sometimes but I do have a clearer vision of where the story is going.
      By the way - to you and Maddy - I love this linky. It allows us all to discuss what's bothering us and that's great. Especially for those of us who have children sucking that precious writing time away. :) Big cheers for both of you. xx

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  6. It's a tricky one. I think you can get bogged down with getting the first few chapters perfect. I think if you carry on with the rest of it, you might get some inspiring ideas for rewriting the first bits. Right now I'm rewriting so much of my book and it feels like a never ending task! Good luck with it.

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    1. You're right Emily. I've rewritten that first chapter so many times I almost forget where it started. I am carrying on with the writing though and trying to ignore that nagging in my head. I won't go back and edit until the draft is finished. It's the only way. Thanks. xx

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  7. I'm with everyone else on this one. You could end up obsessing with the first few chapters, whilst not getting on with writing the rest of it. If you continue with the writing, you never know where it might take you. You could end up getting to the end and finding that those first few chapters don't fit anymore and need changing and those re-writes would have been for nothing.

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    1. It does seem like the obvious answer doesn't it? And yes, finishing the draft may take me in a direction I wasn't expecting. Having everyone's perspective on this really helps, it makes me realise there were loads of things I wasn't considering. Thanks. xx

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  8. Oh hon sorry you've been feeling badly. I totally agree that you should write more first. Your friend will still want to read it even if it's not for a few months. btw I'm still super impressed you managed to write over 10,000 words in a week!!

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    1. Thanks. I was pretty impressed with that number myself! ;) My plan now is to ignore my earlier chapters, just get on with the draft and finish it. I even have my plan printed out sitting on my desk. It's like a little task list with tick boxes. I just keep chipping away at it. :)

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