Editing

While working on the assignments that I handed in last week, I realised that I really enjoy editing. I've never really edited properly before (I know, terrible) but for one of the assignments I had to do a portfolio and show the process of writing. So I had to include notes, planning, and all of the separate drafts of all of the writing that I put in there.

My first drafts are always horrendous. It takes me a long time to know what I want to say, so I tend to just scribble down the first thing that pops into my head. This makes for a lot of cringing when I go back to re-read. When I write my first drafts, I usually don't know how the story is going to end up, so I'll get an idea near to the end, which will need to be incorporated into the beginning. In short, my first drafts are confusing, badly written, don't make sense and are full of plot holes.

What I found during this assignment was that editing is the part of the writing process where my writing actually starts to look good. Because I've already got the thoughts down, during editing I can start to develop them. The novel that I wrote last August for Camp Nano is awful, but I know that when I eventually get around to editing it (I've been meaning to start it for ages) I'll be able to turn it into a really good piece of writing.

I read this quote the other day, and it's so true in my case:

The first draft is just you telling yourself the story. - {Terry Pratchett}

So I've learnt that it's absolutely fine that my first drafts aren't very good, because that's what editing is for. Like the above quote says, the first draft is just there so we have a guideline and know what it is we want to write. It's the bare bones of our story.

I always thought I might prefer editing, but now I know that I do, whether it's poetry or prose. My firsts drafts are a chance for me to get my ideas down, and then I can develop them when I edit. I've also realised how incredibly important editing is!

I struggle to write a first draft, and it seems to take forever, but when I’m editing I can write 1000 words without even realising the time has gone.

Comments

  1. My first drafts for my daily blog are also basically what comes into my head as I type. I find it quite interesting really because I never end up where I thought I would. I start with a nice simple event from the day and end up with all sorts of interesting events.

    However I don't go beyond that so what I post on the blog is my first draft, in other words the first draft is the finished product . . . .which may explain why my blog makes no sense.

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    1. I think for your blog it works best that way, makes for some interesting posts! :)

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  2. That quote is so brilliant! My first drafts are always pretty terrible and need a lot of work, and I do usually prefer editing because it's where I see the story really come to life.

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    1. I know, I found it the other day and knew I had to use it! I'm glad I'm not the only one, my work is always so much better once I've edited it.

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  3. I can see why you would enjoy editing so much Laura. It's always good to keep track on your mistakes and correct them and it's always a good idea to keep on top of things, it's a good habit to have. Plus like you say you're getting more words out of doing it too which is pretty cool.

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  4. I love editing, too! I think it's one of my favorite parts of the writing process :)

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  5. I love editing other people's stuff, just not my own. Something I need to work on.

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    1. Yeah I sometimes have problems with that, it's always easier editing someone else's work!

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  6. I love that you quoted Terry Pratchett! Very simple quote but true.

    I think the difference is you have something to work on when editing so you're not pulling words out of thin air. Sometimes I enjoy that, but quite often it's torture!

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    1. I agree, once I know what I want to write it's much easier to develop it.

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