Drafting v. Crafting: Know the Difference

Student writers often seem confused after a few weeks in my classes. At first, I tell them to get used to writing fast, to junk it through or just get the words down. But later, I’ll talk about not allowing much back story, about scenes versus narration, about getting to the heart of the story. What’s up with that?
Writing Tip for Today: No need for confusion if you remember these things:

  • Separate Processes. You shouldn’t try to create (draft) and edit (polish) at the same time–at least not until you’ve practiced a lot more. Keep your creative right brain engaged during drafting and just GO FOR IT. Whatever, however it comes out of you, your DRAFT is your road map.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to CUT. Later, you’ll edit. You’ll rewrite, revise, rewrite and revise more times than you ever thought possible. That’s OK! You’ll be allowing that left brain, analytical, logical part of you make critical judgments about what you already wrote. This is where the CRAFT comes in.
  • It’s All Good. Don’t think of draft writing as wasted time. You need this to help you get down what’s important. But later, you’ll refine the words, rearrange them or generate new words that are clearer or more to the point. Remember: WORDS ARE LIKE DORITOS! You can always make more.

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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