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The First Draft Is Always Ugly (You Can Call Me Dan)

March 9, 2022

Earlier this week I posted about the need to write a story in one day, (Yeah, I can Fly.)

Writing is a process. It actually starts well before you put pen to paper. Or fingers to keyboard. It starts with an idea. Some writers outline their story before they start. We call them plotters. Others start with an idea and let the story unfold in the writing. We call them pantsers. (As in writing by the seat of your pants. But, you probably already got that.)

Anyway, after the idea gets a writer started, then the writing part happens. And it’s the most important part, obviously.

But, that’s not the end. Most things I write are not very good. I’m not just being modest. Especially my fiction writing is pretty raw when it’s first written. The next part is editing. There are typically multiple editing passes. And each one has a different purpose.

  • Grammar
  • Continuity
  • KAV (Kinetic, Audio, Visual cues)
  • Flow

I write on a computer, of course. But, I edit typically on paper. My story from earlier this week is called “You Can Call Me Dan.” It’s now been written, edited and sent off to the publisher who was gracious enough to accept it even though it was late.

I did skip a step. After the author completes his (or her) portion, the story gets sent out to readers. These are called Beta Readers or sometimes Alpha Readers. They are an important step. But, I had to skip them.

One of the side effects of doing my edits on paper is that I end up with a paper copy of my first draft. If I ever become rich and famous they will likely be only slightly more valuable than they are.

You can call me dan first draft

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Order Miscellany II, an anthology including his latest short story, “The Mercy System” here

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