The first draft of writing something, for me, is a haze: ill-formed, ethereal, and appealing in a murky way, how a sunset melts from pink to black. It’s a blur, this first draft, the words bleeding all around the edges, and it is my job on the second draft to pull out more details from the murk, more sights and sounds and smells and tastes and tactile sensations to make it more real; to make it less god-like at the seams, less a dream, and instead reveal the concrete beginnings of flesh; its truth. It should breathe more on its own, the second draft. And on the third draft, I comb through the now ink-filled page and I reduce or add, as a witch might with her potions into the steaming hot cauldron, tasting a spoonful here and there to judge. And finally, on the last draft, I let it go- a viable, breathing, emotional thing, and then it gets read and judged by new eyes.
Ideally this is how it would go.
I’m working on a piece now that I believe is my strongest to date- a novella for Crossed Genres’ (scifi/fantasy/speculative mag) March submissions and I’m a third or less of the way through. I’m trying to take my time, within the deadline, for I feel my tendency to churn out story after story leaves little room for me to enjoy and perfect my craft. Wish me luck 🍀