Bonjour tout le monde. It's me Ashley and today I'll be taking over the Trouble The Write Way blog with my very first post.
I was recently digging through the mountains of documents on my laptop, when I decided to open up my writing folder and skim through what I had. As it turns out, instead of a few drafts, the folder contained 12 drafts of the same novel, all with various plot lines and endings.
Most people would find it strange that I've kept so many drafts, especially since the plot and characters I'm dealing with now have evolved so much and barely compare to their original form.
However, keeping all drafts is a fantastic idea. If you're ever stuck with your latest draft and feel like you've gone off the rails, you can always return to a previous draft and go from there. You might also find an amazing metaphor or a killer line that might just become your stand out line in the published version.
What about you guys? Do you keep all of your drafts? Why? How many drafts do you average?
Lisa: For the most part, my drafts are simply revisions or edits of the original draft, and those edits I make on the only draft that exists. There's no need to have two files of one story. However, with one story, I decided to try a different approach and the entire first half of the book would be have a totally different structure. For that, I'd call it a rewrite, and I did keep the original draft. Maybe I had a presentiment that I would hate the new version. I was right, and there's no describing the relief I felt when I finally gave up on my rewrite and saw the original version still in my file waiting for me to come back to it. Altogether, I've written seven books, and only the one was rewritten. So, two drafts for one book, versus six books with only one draft, my rewrite average is very low.
Dan: Welcome, Ashley! We're glad to have a new contributor, and this is a fantastic topic. I too am a pack-rat when it comes to keeping drafts. I even have trouble making myself recycle old hard copies of stories that have been workshopped. With digital files, it's much easier (and cleaner) to just keep everything electronically. I save new versions of my WIP often, and back up all of those files to a Dropbox folder. The selling point for me is that I can go back and repurpose stuff that I had to cut in previous versions. I never delete anything permanently.