Draftsmanship

Draftsmanship is widely used in character design, but not something you’d often look to describe novel writing. It should be.

In character design, you use drafts to better or “one up” a previous drawing. My old instructor would often say, “Push the pose,” or “make it pop.” That meant the first draft wasn’t good enough and needed more effort.

I’ve never rushed a draft before until recently. Two months ago, I won a competition that provided me with a free editor. Now, here’s the funny thing, I didn’t know that’s what I would win. I already had an amazing editor and I was really looking to get free advertisement. But saving $1000 wasn’t bad when I thought about it. I’m pretty broke.

Having the free editor meant writing my novel within a few weeks and getting a draft done before her deadline. I didn’t mind because I’m a pretty fast writer, but I still pushed things too quickly. I wanted to stay below 100,000 words for this novel because I knew I’d need to add 10,000 words in detail. Damn, I was wrong.

Because of how detailed oriented the main character is, I’m missing between 20 – 30k words in details. Seriously, that’s a lot. Not to mention, I made a lot of grammatical errors that need to be tackled. Most of them I knew about, but my new editor pointed out a few things that I didn’t and those need some attention too.

I feel pretty bad for rushing a draft and not investing everything I had. In college, I was always the student that turned in a completed paper for our first draft essays when professors only wanted an outline. I believe you receive better advice when you invest more time and effort.

It sucks that I couldn’t do that this time, but I definitely learned a valuable lesson. From here on out, I’m actually going to take a bit more time with my first drafts. I’ll still blaze through most of the writing, but I want to change my wording and keep grammar in mind.

Right now, I have a novel that needs some attention and I’m supposed to receive my manuscript back from my editor soon. I’m going to tackle some of the issues early and send her back a stronger draft.

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