Sunday, 13 November 2011

How Many Drafts?

I thought it would be interesting to follow up my previous post with a Publisher's view on rewriting.  After all, these are the people we are trying to impress. 

Stewart Ferris, interviewed in Writing Magazine (December 2011) has this to say:  '...there are no such things as writers; only rewriters.'  He goes on to break the process down into ten stages:

Draft 1 - Type out the rough version of your whole book

Draft 2 - Tighten structure, fill in plot gaps

Draft 3 - Develop character

Draft 4 - Improve dialogue

Draft 5 - Work on language and imagery

Draft 6 - Restructure parts of the work

Draft 7 - Add layers of conflict

Draft 8 - Improve the crucial opening pages

Draft 9 - More work on character development

Draft 10 - Proofread for mistakes

I'm currently on my third draft.  I'm working on developing character, but also restructuring parts of the work and tightening the structure.  I'm not sure I could split out the editing process as above; it feels a bit regimented.  But then again, perhaps that's what I need!

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