Remember that sloppy first draft you wrote? Well, it’s time to revisit it. You probably remember your first draft a little differently. You have a selective memory and only remember the shimmering glints of brilliance that sprinkle that first draft. That’s good, for it would be discouraging if you remembered everything. It won’t be until someone hands you that first draft that you say, “I wrote that? Shit, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it.”

First drafts are always riddled with mistakes. But a nice thing about writing is that, unlike a night of drinking, you can take back actions and statements without anyone getting hurt. It’s important to remember that somethings are there for a reason, so even though you want to erase all of the terrible family history your drunk uncle told you, you cannot. Maybe you won’t say these things out loud, but they will always be there, forever tainting your image of sweet ol’ Grandma. We learn a lot from first drafts, and most of it, we may never share with our readers, but it may help us get to know our characters a little bit better.

Our characters’ pasts will determine how they present themselves to our readers and to us.

I prefer not to analyze a night out as soon as the morning after. Things are so foggy. Plus, some things may still seem like good ideas (usually from retaining some of the intoxication from the evening before). I like to wait a day before looking over my shitty first drafts. Distance helps take away any of those lines or ideas that you thought were brilliant but turn out to be merely part of the high that comes with creating.

It is also important to remember that a lot of good things come out of that first draft. And while some may need reconsideration, others are just plain perfect.

I always have to remind myself to not cut everything. My fiction writing is generally pretty sparse. I enjoy the long barren stretches in between actions, thus allowing those actions to have more poignancy. Coincidentally, the same goes for my nights of drinking. If I could go back, I would erase most of the words I slurred to the patrons around me and just keep the few gems that got laughter or tears.

The important thing to remember about revisiting those first drafts is that they are first drafts. They will be terrible. It’s the ability to spot mistakes and weaknesses and get rid of them that makes the writer. Like a night of drinking, you will be foggy on most of the occurrences and somethings may never make sense, but you can fix this. Make it work. Give your first draft some coffee, give it a good night’s rest, and talk to it in the morning. Basically, sober up that first draft.

Note: Some of you may have noticed that my updates have been few and far between. I am trying to work this blog into something concrete but have yet to do so. Over the next few weeks, you may notice some posts that aren’t strictly about writing. I’m trying to find a way to make this blog more interesting. I may start doing book and movie reviews. Who Knows? I will be posting a links’ page every week. These are links that I find interesting and assume you will find interesting as well.

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