Doubt crows be circling today. Pesky things. When will they ever leave me alone? Aaaanyway, I have finished the Hammer Pants ms. Need to rewrite the last chapter – again – but yeah, it’s done. While writing it though, I was chatting with the CPs and happened to let slip that I had done six drafts of this particular ms. They were aghast. Hehe. It’s seems quite a lot, I know, but it doesn’t mean I have rewritten the ms six times or anything.
You see my process works with me writing a very fast quick and dirty draft. I have to do this because if I stop and agonise over every word and plot and whatnot, I will become stuck and won’t finish the story. So I have to push myself to keep going and get it down quickly. Then I go back and edit, rewrite, change stuff etc. And because I like to keep old versions just in case a change I make doesn’t work, I make it a new draft every time I change something major.
It may sound odd but it works for me. And this ms is a tricky one because it’s one I wrote a year or so ago before I’d really got to grips with conflict, and it’s a reunion story and I think reunion stories are actually quite hard! I’ve changed the conflict about five times, the beginning at least three, the ending twice, and all the bits in between more times than I can count. It’s kind of like painting a picture or something, you sketch out what you want to paint first, then the rest of the process is filling it in with colour, painting out some bits or emphasising others. Or in this particular case it’s like scrapping three canvases and starting all over again each time. 🙁
Anyway, six drafts is pretty much par for the course. I do a lot more plotting now than I used to and this helps with changing things but I’m still a pantser at heart and like to give the characters their head when the opportunity presents itself. You may – or may not – be interested to know that I have a deleted scenes document for bits I’ve taken out and that word count on that is….wait for it…60k. The ms is 47k. 🙂
So what’s everyone else’s process like? Do you do take the Van Gogh approach like me? Or are you the one draft sculptor type – you carve it out and once it’s carved it stays carved?