Confession: I Don’t Really Have a Drafting Process

I spent an unreasonable about of time writing.

But even more, I spend an even more time thinking about my novel, so therein, I believe, lies the majority of my writing process. Thinking. Then again there’s this: my writing process is an ever-changing, shifting thing. With each novel, it’s different. With each novel I write, edit, revise, I learn something different — about me, about my writing style, but there is one thing that remains consistent each time.


I like lists, and I like to think I have things ordered, but when it comesDSC_0621to my novels . . . Yeah, I really don’t. Like, at all. I’m constantly scrambling from one plot point to the other, cobbling up plot holes and ripping them apart again — usually unintentionally, and unnecessarily. I’m sure I’m not alone in this sort of writing process, but that doesn’t make it any less of a frustrating

You see — I read all these things online about how you should revise a novel.

But when it comes down to it — when it comes down to the story and the characters and the words you put on the page — there isn’t a right way, or a wrong way, to write a novel. Some people draft slowly. (I CAN’T DO THIS. I JUST CAN’T.) Some people (like me) try to vomit out that first couple of drafts as DSC_0625soon as humanely possible. This is me. (The way I see it: my first drafts are going to reek of crapiness regardless, so why not get it done quickly? Kinda like ripping off a band-aid.) In subsequent drafts, though, I’ll take a longer time to revise and edit and fix. Or, in my case, usually that means I scrap the entire manuscript and rewrite it again.

IN SHORT: There is no right way to draft a novel. There is no wrong way to draft a novel. Whatever works, works.

Now it’s your turn! What’s your drafting process like? Is it as messy and confusing as mine? Feel free to make your own post on your drafting process — I’d love to read it.

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18 thoughts on “Confession: I Don’t Really Have a Drafting Process

  1. VERY TRUE. I know my first draft process because I’ve done it so many times, but I actually HAVEN’T written that many second drafts (because they take sooooo much more time, lol). And I think it changes every time for me haha.

  2. Awesome post Kara! And your so right, there isn’t a right or wrong way of editing. Hmmm. I think like you, I write myfirst draft in like a month and then hop on to the next process so I can get better at writing because that’s the most important part to me right now. I’ve tried editing at the same time as writing but that turned out to be an overwhelming mess! Plus I’m not ready to publish yet so I’ll work on revising and stuff when I’m closer. Can you write a draft and edit a separate one at the same time? If so, girl. I APPLAUD YOU !

  3. I love how you said it was different every time. I find myself altering my work patterns with every project that I work on. Sometimes I find all the writing “rules” that I read online overwhelming. I’ve learned that it’s best to just do what works for you!

    Interesting post!

  4. I don’t actually have drafts. When I’m done writing a story or a chapter, I’m satisfied with it… I mean, I change stuff while I am writing, but when I’m done? I’m done. I have this mentality that I am not the one leading the story – the story is leading me. If it already feels right, then I stop there. It’s probably not a good process, and if I ever break it out in this industry (HAH) I might change my perspective, but this works for me!

  5. This is me so so soooo much. I HAVE to write fast. I physically cannot write a slow novel. I’ve got my drafting-a-full-novel process into under 10 days as an average and I’m good with that. I try not to push myself for 10K days all the time or anything, though, because I scare myself off writing too easily. >_< BUT ANYWAY. I need to write fast and sucky and then fix it up later. xD

  6. I’m so scared of drafting. It’s such a long and hideous process. The phrase ‘kill your darlings’ gives me nightmares. But yeah, I usually get the first draft done as soon as, and then leave it, stare at it, poke it, and abandon it for more stories. But I come back to it and look at it some more too. Hmm.

  7. I WISH I could write fast. I have a gajillion ideas and gajillion more plot points and paths where I could go. I revise my first chapter and rewrite it so many times that I can never progress farther than the first chapter. But usually, after a few days, I can write some excerpts but never a full draft.
    Must remedy this.

  8. I don’t really have a set drafting process, either. Sometimes I outline excessively and sometimes I barely outline at all. Sometimes I zoom right through my first draft and other times I slowly plod through them. I think part of the unpredictability of my drafting process is that I’m not an experienced writer yet, but I’m sure that as I write more and more and learn more and more I’ll settle into a routine.

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