What about second first drafts?

The first draft of anything is crap. These are words I say over and over. I tell them to myself, I tell them to people on NaNoLJers, and I’m writing them here now. The idea of the first draft, for me, is just to get it down. Get it out of my brain and onto paper. Once I’ve done that I can revise it and make it better, but the first copy doesn’t have to be good.

But what about the second first draft?

I’ve decided to re-write SHADOWS, but so far I haven’t actually started that because I’ve paralyzed myself by over-thinking it and having too high of expectations. I have been unable to make my brain accept that this is going to be a first draft…because it’s not…it’s a rewrite, but it’s the first draft because I’m starting over, or should I? What about the parts of SHADOWS I really like? Maybe I should just really seriously revise it and add some chapters to the middle to deal with a couple issues I had with it. But if I do that, won’t it be choppy and over-revised?

See?

This is just a small sample of what my brain does to me.

I’m beginning to think that I should just walk away from SHADOWS for now and work on something else, at least until I can gain some perspective on it. Though, if I do that, won’t it just be there, in the corner of my mind, taunting me?

I think it might.

What do you do when it’s time for a big revision/rewirte? Start from scratch or save the bits of the original that you liked? Do you give yourself permission to write crap, or is it not -really- a first draft in your mind? Does your brain mess with you as much as mine does me? And what am I going to work on at my write-in tonight?

Maybe SEE THE SKY AGAIN. It’s the backstory for one of the characters in SHADOWS and one of my critique partners said, “NAME is one of my favorite characters from SHADOWS so I have high expectations for his backstory…” when this woman says she has high expectations she means it LOL And I don’t want to disappoint her or anyone, so I’m pseudo-paralyzed there too. I need to get over that one and just remember that the first draft of anything is crap.

The first draft of anything is crap. The first draft of anything is crap. I can do this! Hopefully if I chant this for the next couple hours it will re-penetrate my brain and I’ll be able to report back tonight that I’ve made some progress on SEE THE SKY AGAIN and I can focus on that while I figure out what to do with SHADOWS.

The first draft of anything is crap. The first draft…

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