Today begins the A-Z Challenge 2012. For 26 days I will be going through the letters of the alphabet and posting a new blog topic with respect to each letter. I posted an overview of the blog topics I plan to cover on March 27th. Since this blog is primarily devoted to the editing process in writing, the topics will focus on this area.
So let's get started . . .
A is for Analyze: The Inner Critic and Your First Draft
Are you the type of writer who analyzes everything, every word, every grammatical error, etc, etc, when you are writing a first draft of something? Do you have the inner critic in your head constantly telling you that your work isn't good enough?
For me, as a writer, I find that this over-analytical critic does not help me when I am writing a first draft. The critic stilts my writing, makes me question myself as a writer and sometimes just makes me want to give up altogether.
I have heard differing opinions in terms of the inner critic and the first draft. Some individuals have said that you should have some kind of critic guiding you as you write chapter by chapter (particularly before submitting a chapter to a writing critique group). For me, I like to get the words down on paper first, in all of their roughness.
I am a very visual person and I need a completed manuscript in front of me before I can truly analyze and edit it in its fullness. For example, I recently completed a first draft manuscript of a YA paranormal. When I did the first read-through I was pretty discouraged.
My inner critic was going crazy--"the tone is way off, the pace is off, the lead character sounds like a twit!" But at least I had finished the draft instead of brooding over every detail when I was writing it. I think if I had over analyzed the thing to death as I was writing, the first draft would have taken me five years to complete.
Now that I have a visual manuscript in front of me I am finding it much easier to analyze everything because I know where the story is going and I've gotten to know my characters a lot better in the first writing. I'm two chapters into the editing process, letting my inner critic take over at this stage of the game and I am much happier with my writing.
What type of writer are you? Do you like to write a first draft in all of its glorious mess or do you think it's better to make it as good as possible the first time around? Would love to read your comments!