Whatever It Is I Think I See…

I’ve been working on one of my WIPs for years. Plural. When I started, I never thought it would take me so long. I wrote the first draft within the span ofย a few months. Then, I read back over it, and despite copious backstory notes and outlining and color-coded index cards, it was a scary, messy blob of words.

Then, I rewrote it. From the beginning. It was kind of scary and it turned out to be a totally different story. I revised it and coddled it and even gave it some time to breathe. When I read over it,ย  it was still scary and still messy.

So, I rewrote it again. Not revised–rewrote.

And then I rewrote it YET AGAIN.

I’m basically on my fourth take-it-from-the-top style rewrite.

But you know what? I am so in love with the way that this current rewrite is going. I can already tell it’s better than anything I’d written before. All of those rewrites (and the numerous plot books I’ve read in the meantime) have given me insight into the best structure for this story, and even though I got frustrated every time I would read over a new draft that was supposed to be shiny and brilliant and wasn’t, I am happy to have written them.

So, I’m curious, how many drafts does it take you to get to the tootsie roll center of your WIP?

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10 comments

  1. Jennifer Pickrell says:

    I’ve got one that I’m about to start rewriting AGAIN. I think I’m on maybe the 5th or 6th draft. Could be more. Every time it’s like I’m just not completely *there* yet. Here’s hoping the 5th( or 6th) time is the charm!

    • Crystal says:

      That’s the same reason I have to keep rewriting mine–it just doesn’t feel *there* yet. My husband thinks I’m a too much of a perfectionist, to which I say, “lol.”

  2. Rebecca B says:

    Oh wow, four rewrites. And I’ve been complaining about #1! One of my projects is on draft 6, I think. Most of those were revisions plus new scenes. This one I’m working on now is the first true rewrite I’ve done.
    I kind of want to make like the Tootsie Roll owl and just bite it to the damn center already. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Carissa says:

    This is really exciting to hear! I love it when you get to that point where you just know its starting to work. I’ve done a complete re-write of the first four chapters of my book several times now. I think I’m finally getting close!!!

    Love your blog – new follower!

  4. Kris Atkins says:

    I’m currently on complete rewrite #2 for my WIP. It will definitely be far from polished when it’s done, so i’m not sure how many drafts it will take me (since the only other book I’ve finished start-to-finish was the first version of this one).
    Good luck!!

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