Tuesday, February 2, 2010
The Colors of a Draft
I use pastel colored paper for manuscript drafts; it feels more tentative and fluid than white. It also gives me a visual record of when parts of a draft were done.
In the above stack, the gold pages (approximately 100) were written between May-July, 2009. The blue were written between August-December, 2009 (only about 30 pages because I was on book tour and in England during that time.) The green pages are the most recent (about 100), written in my recent immersion in North Carolina.
I'm not done yet, and the draft is exactly that: a draft. It's like the frame of a house without the windows in it. No paint yet. No electricity. Definitely no granite countertops. Lots more work to do in subsequent (and new-color) drafts.
The colors help my memory. If I need to quickly refer back to an incident, I can remember when I wrote that scene and what color paper it is on, and I can find it easily.
The final draft (maybe 2 or 3 drafts from now) will be all white and pristine. Subsequent revisions will be on colored paper to easily identify where changes were made. I guess I like things fairly orderly; otherwise writing a book and keeping all the details straight might make me crazy.