Specifically, it got me thinking about the myth that your first draft is the “purest” expression of your work, and that editing it will somehow compromise your artistic vision.
Of all the authors out there, Jack Kerouac probably contributed to this myth the most, since he publicly railed against self-editing, and the story of how he drafted On The Road on a single, giant scroll in only three weeks is legendary.
However, if you read the article above, you’ll see that Kerouac both meticulously outlined his book and had already written portions of it before that inspired three-week period.
Not to diminish Kerouac’s accomplishment in any way—it’s still impressive—but the truth is that “Writing is rewriting,” as the saying goes.
So true: I wrote eighteen drafts of my first screenplay—and it’s […]