Editing whilst writing first draft

For practically the first time since starting this blog, I’m not putting an image with the blog post.  Honestly I just can’t be bothered, it’s too time consuming and there are other things I want to do this evening apart from blogging.

The title of this post is fairly self explanatory.  I’ve been working at my current WIP for a while today and yet I haven’t got much to show for it in terms of a word count.  That’s because I’ve been going through what I’ve already written and trying to iron out inconsistencies.

You might say I should leave that for when I edit the first draft.  But the thing is my memory isn’t always fantastic and I just want to make sure I make what I’ve written make sense before I forget exactly what it was I wanted to correct.  (OK, yes I am aware I’m repeating the word ‘make’ too much!!)  My MC is a writer herself – a much more successful one than me so I guess you could say I’m living vicariously through her!

She’s writing a novel but my problem was my inconsistencies about exactly which stage she is at with it at different points in the story.  And believe me, my storytelling was all over the place when it came to my character’s novel.  At some points she’d just finished it, at other points she was still making notes for a plan for it.  Anyway, you get my drift.

So I felt I really needed to alter it now while what I’ve been writing is still fresh in my mind.  Trouble was I kept having to scroll up and down the page in Word to search for what I wanted to amend.  Apparently Scrivener is meant to be an excellent programme for authors, particularly for times just like this.  I downloaded a free trial of it which I haven’t made much use of yet – I keep meaning to have a go with it properly but haven’t got round to it yet.

Word is simple yes, but it doesn’t do much for you in this situation.   I really need to be able to access information quickly without having to go back and forth getting completely lost.

How about you?  Do you edit a bit before finishing your first draft?  And have you tried/do you have Scrivener?  If so, what are your thoughts?  I’d love to hear them. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Editing whilst writing first draft

  1. I try not to do major editing but I try to edit for spelling (the red line in Word drives me crazy). I tried Scrivener but did not like it. It seemed to overly complicate things for me, so I just stick to Word:)

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    • Hi, thanks very much for your thoughts. Yeah, I think you’re right, it’s better not to do too much editing in the early stages. I’m gonna see how I get on with Scrivener, although I think Word’s a lot simpler.

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  2. I tend to do a ‘light’ edit as I go along, which is probably why it takes me so long to write a first draft. What I’ve found with NaNo (not that I’ve had the time to write that much yet) is that it’s forcing me to just keep writing and not go back over what I’ve written the day before and that’s quite a refreshing approach for me. I know when I do come to read back over it/edit it I’m going to cringe though!

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    • Your approach sounds quite thorough and I think you’re right to be. I’m the same as you really. I tend to read back a few pages every time I return to my WIP and then like you I can get distracted and not focus on writing the next bit. Glad NaNo is going well for you. It’s quite a challenge and it’s interesting for me to see different people’s response to it i.e. how they approach it, what word count they set for themselves. I wish you all the best with it!

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  3. I find it often helps me to go forward if I go back a few steps and iron out the last page or two. Often, I’ll reach the end and have that spark of, “But what happens next?” Because I’m in suspense, I push myself to figure it out. I find this helps me have a stronger first draft.

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