Changing Tracks: From Drafting To Revision

So this week I finally finished the extremely ugly first draft of my latest WIP (tentatively called FROZEN STAR.) Which means that now suddenly I have to switch from drafting-brain to revision.

It sometimes make me secretly suspect, especially when I consider the kind of revision I’ve undertaken previously, that somehow or other I was smarter in my past than I am now, perhaps better at revision than I am now. It’s a strange thought: to consider that perhaps I had the answers…and lost them, which now leaves me having to search for them all over again.

Maybe all of this comes from the whole difficulty of switching from the freely creative “write whatever you feel” phase of drafting a book (especially first draft), to the much more analytical and editorial task of revision, where I need to assess the mess I’ve spewed out and try to find the story therein.

Indeed, in an ideal world, I suspect this is why it’s “best” (so says the advice) to leave the WIP for as long as possible before turning around and trying to revise: that time not only helps provide distance from those words you barely got done, but also allows you time to switch gears in your mind, to go from creative to analytical.

Which led me today to go back through my blog archives to look up my own Rewrites in 4 Ease Phases (click the link too if you’d like to check it out – it’s from back in 2013.) How bizarre is it that I found myself wondering about the process all over again? Oh well. I’m very encouraging to myself, so hopefully this will help the revisions. 😉

That said, I’m onto the first stage: assessment. Eek. Just how ugly will this first draft look?

Now it’s your turn: how do you switch from drafting / creative brain to revision brain? Have you ever found yourself surprised by something you wrote / considered in the past that now seems somehow foreign? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and hope you all have a great week out there.