Facebook that I had completed the first draft of my WIP.
My mother read on Facebook that I had completed the first draft of my WIP. She asked to read it.
I laughed and laughed.
No way anyone is reading that puppy.
I lied about completing the first draft.
Or. Maybe not.
I can't be certain.
What I know is if anyone read the draft it would be like what I imagine a magician would feel like revealing his or her secrets.
My first draft is a blabber mouth. It explains how I do all my tricks.
There is so much rough stuff inside that first draft, so many side notes, and highlighted ALL CAPS messages to myself that should anyone read it they'd think, Shazam, I know exactly how she twists the plot, rearranges time, and spaces out plot reveals that I could just go home and write the thing myself.
And we can't have that.
I have come to a startling conclusion:
I don't believe in first drafts.
Meaning, I doubt they exist. I would love to believe there are writers out there who pound out a story so well crafted that the second draft is only so much polishing. If you told me that is exactly how you write, I'd smile and nod and later I'd draw pictures of you with the eyes X'ed out.
My second draft isn't polishing. It's major reconstructive surgery. And not the out patient kind. The you're going to be here for awhile so you might as well get comfortable and for heaven's sake stop abusing the nurse call button.
You can't read my second draft, either.
Sure, I've tucked away most of the dead giveaways, spun the scenes so they glisten just enough to distract you from what I don't want you to see.
And I'm being butt-neeked honest here.
But, that second draft (meaning the manuscript after I've moved through it fully from the opening chapter to THE END) has a face only a mother could love. Still more voice and jazz hands than breathless pacing and didn't-see-it-coming-but-now-that-it's-here-it-couldn't-have-happened-any-other-way plot twists.
After the third time through the novel I've tucked away the how-to secrets, buried the plot twists, sped up that pacing and layered on the subtle elements of story-world, sub-plot, running jokes (this story has a few running jokes. Cuz I like running jokes and it's my story so there), character traits, time line (cursed thing, that time line. Bane of my writing existence), and break-neck speed ending.
After the third time through, I might consider letting some very close friends have a peek. Only because I begged them.
And what would I call that draft?
In my email to my close friends begging them to read the thing I would say this: Please, please, please, pretty please read this first draft and let me know how much needs to change/be rewritten/be burned at the stake.
Yep. I'd call that one my first draft.
Which is total ca-ca.
And also absolutely true.