#IWSG What’s in a draft?

This article is for Alex J. Cavanaugh’s The Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The goal of the support group is to share doubts and concerns, and reassure other writers who have struggled by offering assistance and guidance.

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day where we post our thoughts on doubts and the fears and how we triumphed. There are other bloggers listed who share their writing journey and I encourage you to check them out.

Here’s this month’s question:

June 2 question – For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

A great question and a lesson I learned very early on in my writing. My first foray into writing, I thought my ms was fantastic, and there was nothing to improve. That was a hard first lesson, especially receiving a comprehensive edit critique. After that experience, I set my draft aside for a good few months, go back to work on a new WIP, return to my ms, edit and re-draft. Set it aside again for three weeks, go back to my other WIP, and re-edit. I do that a few times before sending my ms out to beta readers and my editor.

I now do that with everything I write, even blog posts.

The awesome co-hosts for the June 2 posting of the IWSG are J Lenni Dorner, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, Lee Lowery, and Rachna Chhabria!

Twitter @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG

How do you go about your drafts? How many times do you edit and re-edit your ms?

Thank you for your continued support and as always, I look forward to your comments and will respond.

Historical fiction novelist and a secondary teacher, Luciana Cavallaro, burnt out but not done… yet.


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  1. Jacqui Murray

    I love that works for you. I tried that and got confused over what was happening in one story and then the other. Like you, I write series so I kept asking, “Did I cover that?” I will say, a whole lot of people set their stories aside before editing. This was an interesting question.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cav12

      That’s hard isn’t it, when writing a series, making sure all the sub-plots are concluded. I keep a separate word doc to log what has happened and what I need to finish. Going to be interesting process with my next series.
      Thank you, Jacqui 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. J.S. Pailly

    Definitely a hard lesson, but it sounds like you learned it well! I’m impressed you’re able to give yourself that cool down time with blog posts. I tend to procrastinate with blogging, and I end up cranking things out the night before they’re supposed to be posted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cav12

      I’ve create a schedule for blog posts and enewletters for my mailing list. Have had to as I teach full-time and need to be organised otherwise it’s a last minute scramble!
      Thank you for stopping by 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Janet Alcorn

    I set most of my writing aside for a little while too. For short pieces, overnight is usually enough time for a fresh perspective. For novel drafts, 2 weeks is the absolute minimum, a month is better. I’m a big believer in Stephen King’s “boys in the basement.” They’re always working away, even when a piece is sitting in a (virtual) drawer, so when I come back to it, I have fresh ideas as well as fresh eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cav12

      Good to see other writers apply similar strategy to their drafts. An author, who’s workshop I attended some years ago, suggested putting the draft in a drawer and work on something else before editing. I’ve been doing that ever since.
      Thank you for stopping by, Janet 🙂


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