10 April 2009

The Joy of Editing

So, I discovered today why I like editing so much more than first drafts. I mean, I knew basically why I did, but today I added layers to that understanding :)

How did I make this discovery? I'm glad you asked :)

Liana has a great post up at the moment about types of first draft writers. She's beta reading a couple of novels right now, and they all have unique styles, and therefore unique flaws. I'm not specifically any of the novels she's talking about, but I am a Sparse Draft writer. Most definitely. My finished novels clock in at about 67k, which is way too short.

The funny thing is, as I'm writing I'm always paranoid that I'm being too wordy. When I did a few creative writing classes at university, my professor was always on at me for overwriting, and of course the speculative fiction genre seems to be uniquely plagued with info-dumps, and so it's been drummed into my head that less is more. So when I'm drafting, I'm almost deliberately being sparse.

Of course, I HATE first drafts, and being sparse could just be a good method of getting through them quickly...

But on to edits.

Because I'm a sparse draft writer, it means my edits are a lot more creative than they would be for, say, a too-much-fluff drafter where edits primarily consist of cutting things out, or for a enough-but-the-wrong-stuff writer, where edits consist of slashing things you like, even if you do get to creatively add stuff back in.

But for a sparse drafter, the edits are all creative. I'm adding stuff in, I'm layering - and in effect, I'm playing. With my world, with my characters, with my story... Editing is pure play, for me.

I hate drafting. It's rough, it's messy, it's illogical and full of holes and totally imperfect. It's creating the skeleton, which in the end looks ugly and mishappen and just barely functional.

I love editing. It's creative, it's fun, it's logical and works to fill in holes and create perfection. It's fleshing out the beast, giving it beauty and personality and life.

Editing? Yes. I love it.

So - what sort of drafter are you, and how does that affect which part of the process you prefer? Who of you prefers drafting to edits, and why? Honestly. I want to understand how someone can prefer drafting. And those of you who like edits - why? Similar reasons to mine, or totally different? Opinions, please!

6 comments:

Windsong said...

I draft like you. Usually I end up adding (like around 20,000 words) rather than cutting off big chunks. There are things that are cut, but I don't cut as much as I add.

*mind boggles*

I still like the writing part so much better than the editing part. Edits=nausea for me.

Anette J Kres said...

My drafting comes out full of fluff and layers. I don't think I'm capable of writing with holes or a simple plot line. It would drive me crazy. So I put everything in the first draft and later have to take some things out. I also have to rearrange and clarify in editing, but its mostly cutting. AUC rough completed at 100K. It's down to 84K now.

I feel more satisfaction from the creation process of drafting, but I think editing is easier (if more time consuming). I'm more proud of the end result of editing, but it's nothing compared to the feeling after just having created something from nothing. I love it when my muse kicks in and I just write Sometimes I end a session and reread and go "did I really write this?" lol

So drafting and editing are about even for me. Drafting is more fulfilling, but harder while editing is easier and smooths out the rough spots, making my beast shiny. :)

Captain Hook said...

Windsong, I am so with you on that! And Inky is completely insane %-)

Windsong said...

Well, Sair, we knew that already. The love of editing just confirms it. ;)

Lady Glamis said...

I'm Too Much Fluff. And I know this because Lei told me she keeps cutting and cutting and cutting stuff from Monarch. I'm frightened, but excited. Means I have a lot to consider. She's great at making things clear and concise.

I like editing. It's where the real writing begins.

Inkblot said...

Windsong - I cut stuff too. I just don't understand how you can like the writing part better, tho! Heh. So odd.

Anette - I hate writing with holes, but unfortunately I can never encompass the entire plot until I've written it. That's why I hate drafting; it feel so incomplete, so wrong.
I confess, though, I do love the moments when it all just flows :o)

Cpt Hook - yeah, we all know I'm insane B-)

Glam - Hoorah, I'm not alone! :D Thank goodness for that. *hugs* O:)

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