Drafting

Specifics about craft, talent, technique, etc.
RSchibler
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Drafting

Postby RSchibler » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:27 pm

I've noticed a lot of people talking about numbered drafts, or saving each edit under a different file name. Since I started writing, I've just kind of edited as I went, changing things piecemeal based on notes I made to myself while thinking about the story or with deliberate beginning-to-end and end-to-beginning passes for grammar, character, setting, plot, and theme. Is there some reason I should be saving old drafts? I print when I'm getting close to a "finished" piece for a different view on editing, and I'll sometimes save excerpts in a separate document when I cut more than a sentence or two, but I am certainly not saving entire "drafts" as I move through. Thanks.
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Jeremyteg
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Re: Drafting

Postby Jeremyteg » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:04 pm

RSchibler wrote:I've noticed a lot of people talking about numbered drafts, or saving each edit under a different file name. Since I started writing, I've just kind of edited as I went, changing things piecemeal based on notes I made to myself while thinking about the story or with deliberate beginning-to-end and end-to-beginning passes for grammar, character, setting, plot, and theme. Is there some reason I should be saving old drafts? I print when I'm getting close to a "finished" piece for a different view on editing, and I'll sometimes save excerpts in a separate document when I cut more than a sentence or two, but I am certainly not saving entire "drafts" as I move through. Thanks.


I don't save a copy of every draft of the story. But I do keep track of which draft I am on by changing the title (so, for example, from "story.doc" to "story2.doc" to "story3.doc" after finishing each draft). Mostly I do that because I like to keep track of how many revisions have gone into each story, mostly for the sake of monitoring my own process.

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Ishmael
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Re: Drafting

Postby Ishmael » Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:33 pm

Sometimes you take a wrong turn and it's helpful to have a fixed point to which you can return and start again, or from which you can rescue a section deleted in error.

Sometimes I've tried to cut down a long story in order to submit to a call for limited-length submissions, such as Flame Tree's 4000. I might well revert to the longer version subsequently.
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disgruntledpeony
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Re: Drafting

Postby disgruntledpeony » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:24 pm

I do multiple saves, but that's because my edits get very intense sometimes. I've added and deleted entire scenes in mid-draft before for multiple stories, and major changes like that are when I save a new mid-draft version. Sometimes a segment of prose that I deleted makes its way into another part of a later draft. Of course, it's just as likely that I'm a prose hoarder. It makes it easier to delete a scene if I know it still exists somewhere.

Your method of editing seems perfectly valid, RSchibler. Everyone writes differently. If you've got something that works, don't stress it if other people use a different process. They're just different means to the same end. wotf007
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jficke13
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Re: Drafting

Postby jficke13 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:42 am

I think this falls squarely in the zone of "whatever works for you is how you should do it."

I will share my process though just because I found it intersesting to read other peoples'.

I work in Word, which I know a lot of people don't like. I tried Scrivener, but I just didn't settle into a groove in it. Every day's work gets saved as [Project Name - date].docx or [Project Name Outline - date].docx. This, as you might imagine, can lead to dozens of "drafts." But I'm a. weird, b. don't want to throw those words out because, who knows, maybe some of them are good even if they got deleted once, and c. it's only a few hundred kilobytes, so what's the harm, right?

For longer works I have gotten to a major structural revision and restarted the naming convention with some kind of [Project Name v.2 - date].docx format.

Again, it works for me, but you all might be reading this and thinking I'm nuts... so <shrugs>, right?
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amoskalik
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Re: Drafting

Postby amoskalik » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:01 am

I start each story with it's own folder. I usually end up with four or five draft files storyI, story II ,etc. by the time I have a submittable story titled storyFinal. Once I start submitting, I end up with even more Final files than drafts, because some places want rtf, some want doc, some want docx, some want the file to be de-identified, some want italicized words italicized, some want them to be underlined, etc. etc.

Not the most elegant system, but it works. I've never gone back to even look at a previous draft for any reason, BTW, but it still gives me some comfort knowing I could.
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kentagions
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Re: Drafting

Postby kentagions » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:58 am

The longest story I've submitted is 100kb, 14,000 words and 64 double spaced, Courier New pages on Word (Got an HM). Ten similar stories equal a megabyte or ten thousand per gig. Storage aint a problem.

My reasons for saving a draft:
1. Editing after critique. I want an unadulterated version as a side-by-side touchstone.
2. Change in tense.
3. Change in POV.
4. Rewrite after rejection. I always save an original copy of every submission, date, and to whom it was submitted.
5. Major rewrite after I've let the manuscript rest (Two weeks to a couple of months). I want that side-by-side touchstone again.

I don't save minor changes or fleshing out.

morganb
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Re: Drafting

Postby morganb » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:17 am

Each new story project gets its own special file folder on my computer. I might add subfolders just to keep track of the things ("Drafts", "Revisions", "References", "Pictures", "Research", "Finals", etc.) Or I might not. Usually it just depends on the size of the story I'm writing. I use MS Word for Flash Fiction and short stories, and I usually just keep everything inside one document or folder, from rough draft through revision to final submission copy. For longer stories, like the ones I send in for WOTF, I use Scrivener to keep track of everything.

I use a thumb drive to back up copies of all my completed stories, just so I can have them all in one place (multiple places, actually, since I also save my completed stories on Google Drive, Dropbox, as well as a final copy under its own project folder). But I've never deleted any of my many working drafts, not because I think I'll ever need to revisit those old files or glean something new from them, but just because I'm too lazy. Or maybe it's because I just can't bring myself to kill all those old darlings. When it comes to all my writing materials — electronic or otherwise — I do tend to be kind of a hoarder.

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