Posted by: Phil Anderson | May 31, 2015

Draft Dodging

I recently finished the third draft of my current work-in-process. I know that I am now supposed to set it aside for a while so that when I pick it up again I can see it with fresh eyes. But it’s very tempting to dive back in and start the next draft right away.

Every time I go through my manuscript I make improvements, but often ideas come midway through the process: an element of backstory, development of a personality trait, or an expanded subplot. I add it in as I go, starting where the idea came to me (usually some chapter in the middle), but knowing that I have to go back to the beginning and plant the seeds.

So I come to the end, already knowing that I have to start over, and eager to get back into it while the ideas are fresh. Does the cycle ever end? Should I set it aside to work on something else and risk losing some of the details in my head? Or should I keep going until I either get it right, or I get sick of it?

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