I finally understand the concept of a throw-away first draft. Every time people talked about writing a rough draft just to get out their ideas and then throwing it away, I was confused. Toward the end of my stint at grad school, I realized the reason I don’t do that is because my rough draft is in my head. I go through several versions of a story mentally before I ever put anything to paper. Therefore, the first draft, while needing much revision, usually has the final outline of plot and character development.
Not so with The Epic Novel! I drafted this story 12 times before entering college, so already, it’s been through the works. The story has changed quite a bit numerous times. However, that 12th version is the one I went with all through college and grad school. I mean, this particular plot has been engrained in my mind for nearly a decade (O_O). So, starting from scratch is next to impossible. I constantly must remind myself that the story does not have to be exactly the way it was in that 12th draft. I have to break the hold that version has and let the characters take the story where they will.
I’m revising the opening chapters right now, and everything is becoming so jumbled. I keep rearranging chapters, changing the focus of the MC’s motivation, cutting characters from scenes, adding them back in. And then, trying to remember which version I’m currently using as I revise the next scene. I’m about ready to toss the whole thing and start over.
Light bulb moment! :::slaps forehead::: The throw away first draft. I get it now.