Why First Drafts Are My Favorite


April 7, 2017


   So Camp NaNoWriMo is currently doing its very best to fry my poor brains. It's doing its work fairly well. But I figured I should at least try to write something vaguely coherent for you guys today ;).

   This post is half post, half rant, seeing as I'm REALLY hating the fact that I decided not to write a first draft for Camp, and I'm REALLY pining away to write something new. Thus you get my thoughts on why I so dearly love first drafts.  

Why first drafts are my favorite - Header

   First drafts are the most adventurous part of writing.


   I would say that it's because we don't know where the road takes us, but I think it's mostly because there are no roads. No yet, anyways. That's why we start the story - to see where we can take it.

   I adore traipsing through the first draft wilderness and getting lost in all the valleys and mountains and meadows that I'm slowly creating. But my favorite part of the first draft is the fact that the first draft is for me.

The first draft is just you telling yourself the story - Terry Pratchett Quote

   The first draft is my story for me. I can lose myself in the words and wander where I want to, without wondering what anyone else will think.
   And guess what? The more that the story is just for me, the more other people love it when I finally come to the end of the road and realize that the first draft is done. I don't know why - but there's something about tossing your whole heart into a story that makes other people love it, too.

   My first draft is just me, telling myself of a story. And that's why I love it. I don't need to worry about how the words will sound to other people (or how they sound at all, honestly. Sometime I'm not good at thinking coherently xD), or how many plot holes it has.

   My first draft is just for me. And I love that.       

~ Savannah Grace

   Which draft of the story is your favorite? When was the last time you told yourself a story? 

45 comments :

  1. Aragorn son of Arathorn, a Dunedain Ranger of the North, called Strider, Isildur's heir, rightful King of Gondor, wielder of the Sword Anduril which was broken and is forged againApril 7, 2017 at 10:28 AM

    Oh man, first drafts are my favorite too. For pretty much the same reasons. I love telling myself the story and not caring how it sounds or how bad it is. I'm in the middle of a second draft right now, and I don't like writing it as much. I've learned that I need to keep my motivation the same throughout the writing process - that is, I need to keep reminding myself why I started writing the story in the first place. If I find I'm writing for a reason other than the story itself, I always hit a block. It's annoying, but I guess it makes sense. Great post, I understand completely!

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    1. I. Love. Your. Name. Seriously, I'm jealous!!!!!!!!!!! >.<

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    2. I agree with Gray! I LOVE your name. Aragorn was so sweet to the "halflings". *Sobs*

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    3. YES AGREED YOUR NAME IS GOALS.
      -Ariel

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    4. It's so awesome to be able to write a story without the "ohmyword someone is going to have to read this thing" mentality. And I agree about having to keep the motivation you had in the first place - that's a HUGE struggle for me, but I'm trying :D. Thanks for reading, Aragorn! ;)

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  2. Hmm.....I don't really have a first draft. My muse works in fits and starts, so I'll have a plot line then I'll start with individual scenes (which are little stories) and then weave them into the bigger plot. How would you classify that??

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    1. I've always classified that as a zero-draft, and I've written a lot of stories that way ;). It's so much fun to write a bunch of scenes for the story, and then figure out how to stitch them together!

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  3. The first draft is most definitely my favorite. I get to be creative, and I get to explore new techniques and feelings. I'm telling myself a story right now. :)

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    1. Ooh, you are? That's so awesome! I'm jealous xD. I hope it goes well for you!

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    2. Thank you! Yes, it is going pretty well. :)

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  4. I love first drafts because you don't have to edit XD. And you can create awesome things no one else has.

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    1. The lack of the need to edit is definitely a plus xD. Sailing uncharted story-waters is epic ;).

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  5. I have never really gotten past a first draft (XD) so I have no idea how much I like the later stuff. I hate editing as far as I know. I will probably end up starting a lot of editing this year.
    But, yeah. The first draft is definitely my favorite.
    thefloridsword.blogspot.com

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    1. Ooh, I hope that goes well for you, then! I actually had quite a bit of fun with my first editing - even if it DID get annoying enough to make me want to pull my hair out sometimes xD.

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  6. <3 <3 <3 AHHH THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL. *wipes tear* I seriously miss writing first drafts. All of my favorite writing memories involve a wild first draft of pounding my fingers against the keyboard for hours, music blaring in my ears, and words just flying from my heart onto the page. And it didn't matter what it looked like, because the only one reading it was me and God. Imperfections were beautiful, and wooooow I love this (sorry for the ramble xD).

    I'm hoping to write something new in July, but for now I'll have to struggle through editing :P

    audrey caylin

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    1. SAME - I can't wait until July, because I've already planned to write one ;). "And it didn't matter what it looked like, because the only one reading it was me and God." <---- YES. That explains so much of why I love first drafts :D. Thanks for reading, Audrey!

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  7. Personally I prefer third or fourth drafts. My story is already there, and now I can stitch up the plot holes, refine characters, and polish scenes. I love seeing things improve.
    But you are right, there is a certain delight to starting a fresh story.

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    1. While I obviously love first drafts, I agree that it's AMAZING to get into and through a later draft and see your story sparkle ;). Thanks for reading, Blue!

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  8. I've been coming to this same conclusion. I love writing stories just for myself. I love having the freedom to let my fingers fly across the keyboard. First drafts are fun...and hard...and awesome. Thanks for posting this!

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    1. You're welcome, Alea! There's something special about authors telling themselves a story ;).

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  9. Yesss first drafts. I love them best too, without the worry of 'oh great I need to make this better now.'

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    1. And yet I still have to fight to turn off my editor brain while I write first drafts xD. Thanks for reading, Prill!

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  10. Camp Nano Wrimo isn't really coming along. But I think it's probably my fault I've only written 300 words...xD I think I need to begin making myself write and then the joy will come later. Maybe it's just the wrong story that I'm writing...the joy isn't really in it. I'm not sure exactly what to do because I don't really want to stop writing but I don't really feel like I want to write. It's like my story isn't pulling me on like it usually does.

    Any suggestions?

    It was so fun when I finished my 10,000 word draft!! I loved it that I had actually created a story and I was happy with it!!

    - Lilly Shyree (alillyingodsgarden.blogspot.com)

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    1. Aw, I'm sorry it isn't working out like you planned it to, Lilly! *hugs and motivational cookies* I would say that, if you don't need to get the story done this month, I would give it a rest. Just for a week or so, nothing long - and then see if the story starts pulling on you again. If it doesn't, I would suggest working on a different story and figuring you'll come back to that one later ;).

      I hope your story goes well for you!

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    2. Thanks so much, Savannah!! The problem is...I did take a break for a while from the book. But there's something that tells me that the book isn't just one of those books you start and aren't worth anything...because I think IT IS a good story. I just need motivation. But I was able to write a couple hundred words this afternoon so I'm happy. =D

      Your blog has SO encouraged me!! I don't know where I'd be in my writing journey if it weren't for other awesome writers like you!! May God bless you, Savannah!! I hope to meet you in person some day!!

      - Lilly Shyree (alillyingodsgarden.blogspot.com)

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    3. Hmm ... maybe switch up the plot line some, add in some new characters, or give the story a random plot twist? Sometimes a story gets stale because it needs something new ;). And I've found that motivating yourself with a small piece of candy every couple hundred words works wonders xD.

      Aw, thank you so much, Lilly! Your comment made my day - I'm so glad that I've been encouraging to you ;). Keep on keeping on with your writing! <3

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    4. That's exactly what I did. I added a dragon to my story and now I am madly in love with my story. =D Plus I'm adding a new girl to my story.

      That's a good idea!! I think I did something similar to that before where I ate a chocolate chip every page I edited. xD

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  11. Ahhh, yes. :) That's something I have to remind myself of repeatedly - first drafts are for getting that story out of my brain. They're for making messes. Oh, how I need to hear that over and over again. ;)

    And you go, girl! Editing! Maybe you can write a first draft in July? You've been such a trooper pushing through all this editing/rewriting. YOU CAN DO THIS!

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    1. I LOVE the quote that talks about the first draft being the sand that will later turn into a castle. I can't remember who said it for the life of me, but I always try to remember it as I write first drafts ;).

      THANK YOU, Emily! <3 I'm wildly excited for July - there'll be some exciting writer-ly stuff coming up for me that month (hopefully, so long as everything goes well), and I'll probably be able to tell you guys about it as soon as I know things will work out ;)l.

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  12. First drafts are my favorite too, but that's as long as I'm writing the right one!
    -Gray Marie
    graymariewrites.blogspot.com

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    1. Yup, actually liking the book you're writing is pretty important :D.

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  13. GO SUPERWOMAN YOU'VE GOT THIS DON'T EVER GIVE UP, K?? <333
    -Ariel

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    1. OKAY I WON'T. PLUS, YOU GET TO KEEP ME ACCOUNTABLE, SISTER ;).

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    2. You have awesome sisters, Savannah!! I wish my sis would encourage me like that... But I've learned to take her discouragement and help it make me want to show her that I CAN write a book. lol xD

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  14. This was actually really sweet to read. It makes me excited to write another first draft (which I haven't done in so long because I've been editing. BUT IT MISS IT).

    As for Camp NaNo: You can do this!! Go. Write. WIN!

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    1. *hands you all the plot bunnies so you can have a new idea for the first draft* They're the best!

      I SHALL TRY MY BEST. And you shall hear all about it in the end if I survive xD.

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  15. I 100% get this! Which is why I tend to write a badrillion first drafts and never get beyond that... *cough* BUT. Ever since editing Burning Thorns last year I...kind of discovered I don't hate editing like I thought I did. :X It's nice to not have to come up with every. tiny. thing. ever. that happens. Like with first drafting. But, then on the flip side, you're having to perfect every tiny detail instead of just letting your imagination loose.

    SO. Alllll that to say...I don't know which is my favorite these days. They both have their pros and cons. I know I'll still always adore first drafting though. Like you said, it's so fun to just explore the story and be surprised at every turn, and not have to worry about perfection. And I LOVED what you said about how if you love the story, your readers will too. SO TRUE. Sometimes when I'm NOT trying to be a perfectionist and just let my muse loose, the story comes out better! Writing that first draft is a magical feeling that nothing else has.

    I'm sorry Camp is being so rude to you! But I KNOW you can do this. You're always so dedicated. You've got this, girl! *sends inspirational cookies*

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    1. *glances at my growing pile of unedited first drafts* Uh ... yup xD. And after I edited Killing Snow, I learned the same thing! Editing is only awful when the story is being a pest, so I guess the levels of editing horror or love go with the story ;).

      I'm always on cloud nine for a good while after I finish a first draft - there's nothing quite like it! It's so awesome to bang out the words 'THE END' on the last page of a story.

      EEP, THANK YOU, LAURI! *hordes all the cookies* You're the best ;).

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  16. I've grown to enjoy revising more over the years, but the first draft phase is almost always my favorite! :) Everything is so new and fresh, and the characters can do anything and the story can go anywhere. The first draft is where I first get to see the characters in their element and see who they're really going to be.

    I hope Camp is going well for you!

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    1. The "new and fresh" part is definitely one of my favorites ;). Thank you, Jameson! It's starting to come along, so I'm really excited :D.

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  17. I loved this, Savannah! I personally like editing better, but I see where you're coming from. Though I have started doing your zero-draft thing recently, and it's WAY too fun. . .
    Ack! You are SO right! Keep writing from your heart, Savannah. Because it's beautiful, and the world is SO blessed when you share it with us.

    I'm sorry Camp NaNo is stressful. :( Just THANK YOU for pushing through this, sweet friend! I know you're not a quitter, and I know you love Ceru just like I do--even when he's being a pest--so I probably don't even need to say this. But please, please, please keep at this, because I believe this story needs to be heard. I've been praying for you every time I think of it, crazy author girl. YOU CAN DO IT!!

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    1. Zero-drafting is amazing, I definitely agree. I zero-drafted Killing Snow, so it's one of my preferred ways to write a story ;).

      *flails and squeaks and can barely word* Seriously, that was the encouragement I needed today, girl - YOU'RE THE BEST, HANNA *all the hugs*. And don't worry, I'm going to keep fighting for this story ;). Thank you, friend! <3 <3

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  18. This is so true!! Writing a first draft can be hard, but I've always loved the special closeness you feel with it. You're the first one to ever see it and that is just so cool! Thank you for sharing this! <3

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    1. Your comment made my day, Madeline :D. I'm glad that you enjoyed this post! First drafts are definitely special ;).

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  19. Yesss I love first drafts too!! I love them because I get to meet/explore my world and my characters for the first time and it's jUST KIND OF PRECIOUS. <3 Also there's no pressure! If I write something utterly awful, I know I can fix it later. First drafts = fun. :D

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