There are writers out there who love to create first drafts and who hate to revise their work.

I am not one of those writers.

I am the exact opposite of those writers.

The first draft of almost every scene that I write is painful to me*. It doesn't come out how I want it to. I read it back to myself and think, "Bleh. This is terrible. So terrible. I hate, hate, hate, hate this!"

So I rework it. And I rework it. And I rework it some more. Sometimes--most times--I work on a scene for about three days before I'm finally, truly happy with it. (Sadly, there have been some extremely frustrating scenes that have taken me up to three weeks before the hatred for my written words has ended.)  However long it takes, though, when I get to the point where I'm satisfied and happy, I move on to the next scene and begin the process again. It looks a lot like this:

Oh, how I hate this! ---> Hmmm. I guess I hate it less now ---> It's getting better ---> I think I'm on the right track ---> I'm in the groove for sure now ---> Almost ready to call it done? ---> Yes! I love it! I love this book! I love writing! Time to start my next new scene! This is going to be so great!--->  Oh, how I hate this. . .

(FYI: I'm not saying this is The Right Way to Write. In fact, I think there are a good many arguments why one should not revise one single scene for days on end. This process is probably very bad for me. But I do get super polished work out of it!)

So as you might know, I have a second novel contracted. As you might not know, the entire novel is not yet written. My agent sold the proposal based upon a twenty-page outline as well as the first 50 polished pages. My job now is write all of the remaining scenes in the outline and turn in a first draft by June 1st.

What does this mean? Well, I have to write a scene and quickly move on to the next. I can't spend three days (and certainly not three weeks) polishing because my editor doesn't want half of a super-polished manuscript.  She wants a full first draft.

It also means, that I am in First-Draft Hell right now. Writing a scene and moving on to the next does not bring me to the point where I experience joy in my work. Not ever. Everyone keeps reminding me that I have time. I will have the opportunity to go back to every single of these misery-making scenes and improve them. I know that this is true. I know that having an imperfect full draft is necessary so that my editor and I can make big-picture changes and get things rolling. I know that I CANNOT allow myself to revise until the full first draft is DONE.

According to my outline, I have ten scenes left. I am SO counting them down. Because when they are done, First Draft Hell will officially end and I will finally be able to revise. I have a feeling that I will cry with relief when I finally get to that point.

*There are exceptions. The scenes that other people expect to be hard to write where my narrators experience pain and misery usually come out close to perfect on the first draft. True story.

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