My Rough Draft is Perfect! Right?

The Rough Draft is a Perfect Draft, for What it is

Is your rough draft perfect? Of course it is! Most writers think of the rough draft as the start, but it begins far sooner than that.

Every writer is different in how they approach their writing. From their style to their preparations, everything is different. Some have superstitious type rituals they must do, pencils in the right spot, computer set up just so… you get the idea.

Rough Drafts are Perfect
How do you make a rough draft perfect? You write it. That’s all you have to do.

My biggest “thing” is that I write my story in my head before I ever put a single word on paper. How do I know the characters that I invent? I actually sit down and get to know them, their back story, where they came from, how much change they have in their pockets. I listen as they tell me their tales, following the woes and the highs. My story is complete except for the words.

It’s what happens afterward that is my downfall.

Pssst… if you sign up for the Extra Draft Newsletter, you gain access to free downloads, including the Character Interview Sheet that I use to get to know my characters!

The Writing isn’t That Bad

Now, I am not going to admit that my writing is bad. It really isn’t. I have too much feedback stating otherwise to ever believe that. However, for my own personal standards, I am never truly satisfied. I don’t believe any of us honestly are.

For me, and I assume for many of you, while I am writing the first rough draft the words just flow. This is partly because I have the whole story in my head already and am just transcribing thoughts into words on paper. While I am writing this draft though, my thoughts go to how brilliant the story is, how well the characters react and mesh with one another. I think that this draft is just perfect and if I am lucky I will not have to go back and change or fix much.

That’s what rough drafts are though, right?  Perfect?

Rough Drafts are Perfect

In a sense, I think they are. It is a raw and bare story. No real “fluff” or filler. It is a Hemingway Style, drunk and no fill piece of art.

Then… and then I read it.

I know the story, I know the characters and I know what happens. I should, I wrote it. But sitting down with my red pen and making my edit notes, I grow rather disgusted with myself. How could I write such crap? Oh god, this is horrible. What the hell was I thinking?

I have been known to ask those questions out loud to myself from time to time. Though, I know that I will make it better. Each draft is closer and closer to perfection. Never fully getting there, but if you are lucky, close enough.

The rough draft though, in itself, is damn near perfect. For what it is. Stay happy with that. Don’t berate yourself too much. Make it shine. The diamond is there, you just have to buff, spit and polish that bad boy until it glows in the dark.

That’s what rewrites are for.

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