Monday, May 28, 2012

Keep That First Draft!

My father was an artist and he also taught History of Art.

He always urged his students to not only look at the artist’s finished masterpiece, but to find and study the preliminary sketches of the work. He believed that those early sketches often had a vitality and spontaneity that got lost or refined away in the finished painting.

The same can be said of a novel. Too much polishing and refining can erase the early energy and excitement of the first draft. It’s important to reread that first telling of your story before you send out your manuscript. Although the first draft is rough, in terms of vocabulary and structure, it may have an electric quality that you want to maintain. Make sure the original spark is still there and that the early energy hasn’t been diluted.

If it has – put it back again.

Robin Hathaway

1 comment:

  1. Robin, my close colleagues and I agree with you and your father 100%. Thelma