Can I just say how much I LOVE writing a first draft! For me, there's such a sense of freedom at starting a new story. Maybe it's because I've been writing/editing/revising Eternal Starling for the last two years, but I'm in love with the two new books I'm working on! There's just something about getting to create a new world and meet new characters.
About two weeks ago, I started working on a contemporary YA and a chick-lit romance/mystery. The mystery has been moving at a really good pace so I've decided to finish it first. I'm 100 pages into it and I should be able to reach my goal of finishing the first draft by the end of February.
Let me just say, Eternal Starling did not get written nearly as fast as this book and I think it's because of the different ways I outlined the two books.
With Eternal Starling, I did a skeletal outline of the story. I knew the basics, but I kind of let the characters take me where they wanted to go. If you've read my past posts you know I wrote Eternal Starling in 3 months, then I ended up spending a year doing revision after revision (I think I had about 10 different drafts) because I didn't know my story well enough when I first wrote it. This time around, I decided that since the book was a mystery novel, I needed a more detailed outline. I can't believe the difference it has made. Knowing where the story is going makes it much easier to just fill in the blanks. I know not everyone likes to write that way, and I didn't think I'd like it either, but it worked for this book. I'll have to wait and see if it works for other books I write.
How do you guys feel about first drafts? Do you love them or hate them and just want to get the ideas on paper so you can revise? And what about outlining? Do you write with a detailed outline, or just a basic idea of where the story is going?