Thursday, April 7, 2016

Draft Editing: Whens and Whats

Special thanks to Ellie Raine for this week's Writers Roundtable questions.

What is the biggest editing rule you constantly break while writing a first draft?

Derrick Ferguson: I break 'em all. I don't a give a poobah's pizzle about any rule of editing or grammar when I'm writing that first draft. I'm telling the story to myself and just letting everything gush out in a white-hot blaze of pure storytelling.

Herika Raymer: Double space after period, train of thought writing (in other words it may not be coherent and probably terrible pacing), jumping from scene to scene, data dump, more showing than telling. Shall I go on?

Clint Hall: Telling. It's not that I try to tell instead of show, but if I can't immediately think of a great way to show, I'll just tell the reader (basically) whatever I want them to take away from the scene. Which leads nicely into...

Do you try to fix it right away, or do you save it for the first round of proof reading?

Clint Hall: Nope, I don't fix it right away. The first draft for me is about trying to get the story down. I'll come back and figure out the best way to show instead of tell in my second or third pass.

Bill Craig: If I see it I correct it the first time around. Then once the manuscript is complete I print it out and go through with a red pencil and find and mark typos and errors and then using the printed pages go back through the computer manuscript and go through and make corrections.

Derrick Ferguson: Nope. I never fix any errors right away. That's what the second and third drafts are for.

Herika Raymer: Depending on whether or not I am in a rhythm, I will usually try to fix it right away because it helps close any plot holes or fill in any gaps I may have unintentionally done. Afterwords, I will catch other editing mishaps on the beta read.