The Not So Pretty First Draft

I’m officially finished with the first draft of my WIP, which is currently nameless. Coming up with compelling, meaningful, titles has never been a strong suit of mine. It’s 85K words and a YA urban fantasy (no shocker there, right?). It’s considerably different from my complete manuscript (Vanishing Valerie) which is currently out in the land of partials and queries. Unlike VV, it’s first-person and present tense. I’m not sure if it’ll stay like that through the revision stage. I mean, it’ll probably remain first person but the verb tense may change.

For the most part, it turned out like I had expected. I’m sure you all know it goes when you’re writing, sometimes the story takes a completely different turn. A couple characters turned out differently than I had envisioned, but that’s fine since it took the story to where I wanted it to go. But… really, Hemingway’s quote couldn’t be more right. It’s decent, but really nothing remarkable. I need to take a big step away from it before I can start to revise it. I need fresh eyes and to figure out how to make it better — and, mostly, whether I’m going to change the verb tense or not.

So what am I going to do with that time? Focus some on the querying process for Vanishing Valerie, of course, but mostly read. Read, read, and read some more. I really think that it’ll help me with revision more than anything else. I was reading an article, Envy or Inspiration, over at Magical Word today and it really was perfecting timing for me. Sometimes I struggle with being envious over the amazing books I read, but I just have to keep reminding myself that it’s their final products. Their polished work that took them multiple drafts to get to, so of course my lousy first draft is nothing in comparison.

What about everyone else? Do you feel your first drafts are pretty good or just awful? What do you do to prep yourself for the revision stage?

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