Why You Shouldn't Use Your First Draft

Every writer has a a starting point that comes with a first draft. Today I will discuss why a writer should never commit to using the initial draft. 

Why are they so bad?

My definition of a first draft to a novel is a cluster of brand new ideas and interesting elements that a writer essentially vomits onto paper. In my experience, having so many ideas and potential developments happen in various "patches" makes it hard to really connect together, which in turn makes a nonsensical story.

In my first draft for Gods From the Machine, the first chapter was a thirteen page setup that was far too convoluted and had a great deal unnecessary dialogue and character development. For god's sake, the mother of the main character had more scenes than he did! On its own that isn't really such a bad thing, but for a fantasy genre, it just doesn't work. Also, many times the progression or tempo can be negatively affected because a first draft usually has a lack of coherent direction.

More often than not, there's also several grammatical errors thrown into the mix as well. Even with my editor and several rereads, there were still minor spelling mistakes and word repetition that appeared in my final draft like a bug that wouldn't stay dead no matter how many times you stepped on it. This goes to show you that perhaps having a unbiased third party read through your work with you might beneficial as well. 

However there is a silver lining.

Like a gut instinct, many of the initials idea you have are probably very good, but they need to be fine tuned. For myself, several elements remained in the final draft in some form or another, so not everything ended in the waste bin.

Now all of a sudden it makes sense why teachers in English class always wanted their students to write at least three drafts before turning a final one. By having an opportunity to reflect back on previous work is really the only way you can hope to exceed it.  

Thanks for reading and please share with your friends and family!