Am I Too Far Gone?

Right now I keep paging through the manuscript for my current novel, “Requiem”. I am having a problem with what to correct and what to pass over because this is just a first draft.

So at this point, I am asking myself: “If I am asking myself these questions, am I honestly into my first revision?

I know that this may sound like silly semantic questions, but there is a purpose here. It has to do with achieving goals and how I define them. I set the goal for myself that I will have the first draft of this novel done by the first of the year.

But what is bothering me is that I still have holes in the story that I need to fill, but I keep getting pulled into what I see as glaring problems; mostly with mechanics.

I have it in mind that I should work from the biggest problems. i.e. plot holes, faults in character arcs and the like, but I keep getting sucked into the minutiae of misspellings bad punctuation etc.

Is this just a problem for me? Good Lord! Is it possible that I am whacked, even by fiction writer standards?


How does anyone else decide where the first draft ends and the rewrite begins?

Maybe I’m taking the whole dilemma too seriously.

Perhaps it isn’t even a dilemma?

Or perhaps my little red choo-choo has gone chugging around the bend. O-o

In any case, a happy week to all.


2 thoughts on “Am I Too Far Gone?

  1. I try to get all the plot and character issues worked out in my outline and first draft. Once I get all the kinks worked out, I go into my second draft which I guess I’d call my revision. But I suppose it’s all semantics. Once words are down perhaps everything after that is revision.

  2. You are definitely in your first revision. But I do not worry about style until I’m approaching, or even past, my first beta round. Your plot, characters, and mechanics are your meat. The style is just the seasoning. You wouldn’t season a live cow, would you? 😛

    In all seriousness, this is one of those things we all deal with. To tackle it, I just trust my gut as I do my first couple read-throughs. There are always things that I read and immediately think, “Ooh, no, I have a much better idea for that and know exactly how to fix it.” And then there’s other stuff that’s like “I know that’s bad, but I don’t know what to do about it right now. I’ll deal with it later.” The “now” stuff gets fixed in the next draft and the “later” stuff could get fixed in draft 3 or all the way down in draft 7. Depends on when the inspiration for how to fix it hits. Sometimes I need the advice of betas for how to fix the most stubborn issues.

    I always liked the analogy that editing is a lot like chiseling. Your first draft is basically a slab of rough marble and you chisel away, slowly, until it looks like something recognizable and pretty. And then, when you’ve finally fixed every problem you recognize but you’re still not feeling good about it, that’s when it’s time to send it to betas.

    I am working on that sample you sent me today, by the way 😉 I know you asked for style advice, and I’m a bit reluctant to give you all the comments I could, because I don’t want you to get too obsessive over that at this stage. I don’t want to infringe upon your muse with nagging style stuff, because at this point in the creative process, you need to freedom of imagination and to not be worrying so much about editing. But I’ll do what I can, and I certainly will comment on the more mechanical aspects as well 🙂

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