It's my belief that you should never show your work to anyone in the publishing world until it shines like a diamond. Rough drafts don't shine, as a rule. Mine certainly didn't. That's why I was rejected for years and years.
I work sometimes from outlines, which are immediately abandoned. Sometimes, when I'm trying to find the characters, I'll sketch things out a bit. Sometimes, outlines help me aim a little bit, but I tend to find it's usually much more interesting, especially with the first draft, to spew it onto the page. I used to get very nervous that, if I write this first rough draft and I die that night, whoever finds it might think that I thought it was good. For me, it's much more important to get some general shape onto the page and later take all... Read more »
I often wonder: suppose we could begin life over again, knowing what we were doing? Suppose we could use one life, already ended, as a sort of rough draft for another? I think that every one of us would try, more than anything else, not to repeat himself, at the very least he would rearrange his manner of life, he would make sure of rooms like these, with flowers and light ... I have a wife and two daughters, my wife's health is delicate and so on and so on, and if I had to begin life all over again... Read more »
Having done television for almost 20 years now, a pilot is kind of like a rough draft. It's like bringing people into your ultrasound and hooking up to the monitor and going, "Isn't my baby beautiful?" "Yeah. I can only see the outline of it, but it looks like it might be."
Journalism is not easy. It's the first rough draft. I don't think you need to wait around until you have the definitive thing. You record what's there; don't delude yourself that this is the ultimate historical view.
I hate first drafts, and it never gets easier. People always wonder what kind of superhero power they'd like to have. I wanted the ability for someone to just open up my brain and take out the entire first draft and lay it down in front of me so I can just focus on the second, third and fourth drafts.
Let me back up a little and tell you why I prefer writing to real life: You can rewrite. A novel, for example, can be cleaned up, altered, trimmed, improved. Life, on the other hand, is one big messy rough draft.
It also signals to me, when I pick up a pencil, that this is a rough draft. This is not going anywhere, and no one's going to see it. You have permission to make all the mistakes you want. It signals freedom to me, and it signals mistakes.