Different Purposes for Different Drafts

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The Great Wall was built one stone at a time; you climb it one step at a time; your story is written one word at at time. Slow and steady can create magnificence. (I am in the orange & white hat.)



I am stumped, not blocked. I know that something in my current writing project needs to change, I’m just not sure how to best accomplish it. It’s partly a matter of organization–this is a nonfiction project–making sure that everything is included, ideas flow logically. But as is so often, it’s not straightforward. I could go in a couple different directions.

I’m at the point where I probably need to commit to one structure, write a draft and get feedback. Sigh. The writing process needs that feedback loop. I will need to know how clear my ideas are and if someone can use this to accomplish something: will the information be helpful in this format?

As I write this draft then, I will keep my audience firmly in mind. Sometimes, I just write for the story or the ideas and don’t worry about the audience. But this draft is different. After a couple drafts, I know the material, so this draft is about communicating with clarity. Fiction gets to that point, too, when you know the story and the next draft is about clarity so the reader experiences the emotions of the story.

The first draft is almost always about finding the story or the idea. After that, the purposes of a draft of fiction is to find the most dramatic way to tell that story so it will impact readers emotionally. For nonfiction, the purpose of subsequent drafts is to find clarity and, if it’s creative nonfiction, to find that reader experience, too.

That’s where I am today–where are you in your writing process today?

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