on Fiction University:
Drafting a novel is often a messy process, because there are so many different ways to do it. Do you get it perfect on the first try, or worry about perfection later?
There are a lot of things I don’t worry about in a first draft. My characters aren’t fully formed yet, I don’t always know what world building details matter, and my plot might change, even though I outline in great detail. I write a first draft to get the idea in my head down on paper, and then I figure out the best way to revise it.
Not matter what your process is, sometimes amazing ideas just happen as you write. The characters say or do something you weren’t expecting, and you get that happy little buzz of excitement when multiple minor details converge into awesomeness.
And then you realize there’s absolutely no groundwork in the novel for that amazing idea.
What should you do? Stop writing, go back, and put in the groundwork for this scene to have its full impact, or keep going and worry about it during revisions?
Consider these things when deciding if it’s better to stop and revise, or keep writing: