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Majestic Fox

An Elusive Yet Essential Discipline

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I offer to you an outrageous and probably inaccurate suggestion:

 

An experienced writer's first draft will not be as good as a less experienced writer's first draft. 

 

The experienced writer is able to crank down their internal editor and let the story flow out of them. The less experienced writer (me) cannot yet do this. They go back, rework and polish, spending five times as long on a chapter that might not even make the final draft. 

 

Does anyone else struggle with this?

 

For me it comes from wanting too hard to write a good story. I want the first draft to read well - to feel inspired by what I've written. This desire can really slow things down.

 

But if you take the other approach and turn your internal editor right down, then you might end up reading your first draft and thinking Oh no -  that took ages and 90% of it will have to be destroyed.

 

How do you deal with your internal editor? Can it help you in the first draft? What percentage of your first draft typically makes the final draft?

 

Thanks.

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It's a double effect. Some writers' first drafts will indeed, in some respects, turn worse as they gain experience and grow to let the words flow; however, their first drafts will ineluctably improve in other respects, in some cases (I daresay many, as experience accumulates) compensating entirely for the loss of polish, and then some.

 

edit re: Questions

I have found that turning off my 'internal editor' and the pressure to write well is, for me, the best way to explore ideas and transform thought into text. Using more intermediary steps makes it less laborious for me to reach the final draft and gives me more time to improve the substance of my prose.

Edited by yurisses
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