We’ve sourced some of the most interesting and thought-provoking Drafts Quotes from Judy Blume, James Meade, Gore Vidal, Natasha Trethewey, Charles Caleb Colton. Each of the following quotes is overflowing with creativity, and knowledge.
When I began to write and used a typewriter, I went through three drafts of a book before showing it to an editor.
Second, there were the discussions and drafts leading up to the White Paper on Employment Policy of 1944 in which the UK government accepted the maintenance of employment as an obligation of governmental policy.
The greatest pleasure when I started making money was not buying cars or yachts but finding myself able to have as many freshly typed drafts as possible.
It took me years of attempts and failed drafts before I finally wrote the elegies I needed to write.
The drafts which true genius draws upon posterity, although they may not always be honored so soon as they are due, are sure to be paid with compound interest in the end.
I don’t write drafts. I write from the beginning to the end, and when it’s finished, it’s done.
Yep, I often lit the barbie with old drafts.
When I started ‘Still Missing,’ I had a few key plot points in mind, which I played around with mentally for a couple of months, then one day I just started writing. Not having an outline led to some cool plot twists, but also many rewrites! A lot of the plotting happened on subsequent drafts.
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.
We go through, I think, six different drafts of each script. And then my shooting it is roughly, you know, fifteen percent of the total work that gets done on a show. Then it’s all post-production animation after that.
During my first eight years at the Revs we drafted really well, but I got very little from the last two drafts that I took part in.
Obviously, drafts sometimes are good ones, or bad ones; I think you can get a good, quality player late in the lottery.
I would go so far as to say that I mostly write terrible things. I mean, my first drafts are so appalling.
You know, my first three or four drafts, you can see, are on legal pads in long hand. And then I go to a typewriter, and I know everybody’s switching to a computer. And I’m sort of laughed at.
First drafts are never any good – at least, mine aren’t.
There are writers whose first drafts are so lean, so skimpy, that they must go back and add words, sentences, paragraphs to make their fiction intelligible or interesting. I don’t know any of these writers.
‘An Education’ was a complicated piece of work because it came from a tiny essay, so it took me a while to find the story I wanted to tell and the characters I wanted to tell it about. That really only emerged after four or five drafts.
I number my drafts, and by the time a book is done, I’ll have 75 or 80 drafts of some sections.
I had done 17 drafts of ‘Heyy Babyy’ before the final screenplay emerged. It’s actually based on the wild lifestyle of a friend. In fact, when he saw ‘Heyy Babyy’ he threatened to sue me and said I’d better pay him royalty.
Most of my early work was done on typewriter. And the only way to iterate drafts was to re-type it.
I start a lot of things and purposely leave them unfinished. When I have a bunch of really long emails, and I need time to think about the response, I’ll actually start replying, leave them as drafts, and move onto something else mid-sentence.
I’ve seen a couple mock drafts that have me going to the Baltimore Ravens. And if it happens like that, it’ll be a blessing. But I’d like to go anywhere that calls my name.
Only in very rare circumstances will you see something cut out of my first drafts. Maybe it’s because of the way I write. I’m very focused on the logical progression of the story, and every character has a role to play.
I am violently untidy. My desk is overcrowded. I write my first drafts in longhand in a long notebook using a plastic throwaway fountain pen. Then I work on a word processor using a different desk and a different room.
Writing film scripts is the hardest thing in the world. A script has to go to five or six drafts, and you need the feedback of other people and to keep coming back with a fresh eye, honing it down.
I keep the drafts of each poem in color-coded folders. I pick up the folders according to how I feel about that color that day.
Margot Livesey, my dear friend, reads all the drafts of what I write, and I read hers. We have an intense working relationship. I’ve been really lucky to know her. She’s a great reader and teacher as well as an astonishingly good writer.
I am a hopeless pantser, so I don’t do much outlining. A thought will occur to me, and I’ll just throw it into the story. I tell myself I’ll worry about untangling it later. I’m glad no one sees my first drafts except for my poor editor and agent.
I’m pretty obsessive-compulsive, and I’m very fast. I tend to not write for a long period of time until I can’t not write, and then I write first drafts in gallops. I won’t eat right. I forget to do my laundry.
I am such a rewriter; I have so many notebooks filled with drafts you wouldn’t believe.
In terms of smaller changes over time, I think good plays are like poems. Every syllable counts. So I wrestle with word choice, rhythm in final drafts.
I dread first drafts! I worry each day that it won’t come, that nothing will happen.
I don’t care if I’m drafted one, five, 72, or last pick. I’m going to come in with my head low, ready to work, and that is not going to change me. That’s why, whatever team drafts me, you’re going to get the same person, the guy that is going to be a competitor, a guy that is passionate about the game.
Your spouse, a sibling, a friend need to read your drafts. They have to be people unafraid to tell you what sucks. For early feedback, that’s more important than professional editorial skill. Most people know what sucks.
I wrote the screenplay for ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ – all 40 drafts of it.
One of my strengths as a writer is that I’m a good problem-solver. I write these unthinking, ungoverned first drafts. The project for me always is to turn that instinctive stuff into pages that work.
I don’t sit down and write a song, and then slam down the phone like, ‘We got another one!’ and pop some champagne. It’s like if someone’s writing a novel: You write a series of drafts.
I have to re-write a lot. I couldn’t tell you how many drafts I write, but I know I’ve done at least twenty rewrites on each book.
Usually with something like ‘The 100,’ because you’re working so much and every day, and they’ll change the drafts quite quickly, we’ll go through maybe, like, 12 different versions of the same scene over a week. So there is no point in learning it on a Tuesday when on a Thursday it might be completely different.
I write an actual script rather quickly – a draft will take me two weeks – but I write a lot of drafts. My big thing is I don’t re-read. When I write, I never re-read back. I’ll send it, because if I re-read back, it will cripple me.
You don’t get to be a good screenwriter unless you do 20, 30 drafts: fact.
I feel like whatever team drafts me I’d fit into because they’re going to get the best receiver in the draft. Regardless of if they really need a receiver early or not, the way I’m going to come in and work, they’re going to get the guy they hoped they drafted and be excited about it.
The bottom line is that I like my first drafts to be blind, unconscious, messy efforts; that’s what gets me the best material.
I usually do at least a dozen drafts and progressively make more-conscious decisions. Because I’ve always believed stories are closer to poems than novels, I spend a lot of time on the story’s larger rhythms, such as sentence and paragraph length, placement of flashbacks and dialogue.
It’s funny because you know the novel process: you get the drafts, you get the galley, and then you get the galley proofs. You have opportunities to change things all along. But the further along in the process you go, the more careful you have to be in making those changes, and the smaller the changes have to be.
I write with a Uni-Ball Onyx Micropoint on nine-by-seven bound notebooks made by a Canadian company called Blueline. After I do a few drafts, I type up the poem on a Macintosh G3 and then send it out the door.
Maybe other writers have perfect first drafts, but I am not one of them. I always try to get the book as tight as I can, but you reach a point as the author where you have lost all perspective.
I usually do about five drafts per rhyme for each song.
I keep everything in Notepad: shopping lists, to-do lists, recipe tasting notes, my blog content calendar, recipe inspiration, blog-post drafts.
When I made ‘1983,’ there were a bunch of tracks that were in the early drafts that didn’t make it because they just sounded like tracks for rappers, and that’s not really the sound I look for when I produce my own albums.
I’m not much of an outliner in general. I tend to wing my way through all my drafts, which means writing a series is a very chaotic and panic-inducing experience.
I tend to write first drafts that are incredibly cognitive, very rational, very boring. They come off as justification. Like, ‘This is my idea and here’s all the reasons that it’s right.’ It doesn’t make for very compelling reading.
My only writing ritual is to shave my head bald between writing the first and second drafts of a book. If I can throw away all my hair, then I have the freedom to trash any part of the book on the next rewrite.
Perhaps it is because I’m a writer trained in history that I’ve always assumed I would make mistakes in my drafts. Historians know how faulty human memory can be.
Good first drafts and speedy responses to consumer dialog will always trump lawyered corporate speak.
First hand on ‘Go Goa Gone’ I learnt how to write on final drafts, how the process works.
On the last drafts, I focus on the words themselves, including the rub of vowels and consonants, stressed and unstressed syllables. Yet even at this stage I’m often surprised. A different ending or a new character shows up and I’m back to where I began, letting the story happen, just trying to stay out of the way.
In my office in Florida I have, I think, 30 manuscript piles around the room. Some are screenplays or comic books or graphic novels. Some are almost done. Some I’m rewriting. If I’m working with a co-writer, they’ll usually write the first draft. And then I write subsequent drafts.
I can get really obsessive. I like writing many drafts, and I try not to because it is very time-consuming, especially when you’re working on a novel. But I do like to take a story and reorder it, put things in different places. This allows me to see things in a new and sometimes surprising way.
When you see two writers named on a movie, one of them did some drafts and got the boot.
I’m pretty rigorous about the drafts I turn in. I don’t turn in something that’s so ungodly they go, ‘What the hell is this?’
I write first drafts by hand, often out of the house somewhere, and then, when I’ve got a draft, type it up and let it sit, sometimes for a long time, and then when I’m ready, I work on revision.
I haven’t had trouble with writer’s block. I think it’s because my process involves writing very badly. My first drafts are filled with lurching, cliched writing, outright flailing around. Writing that doesn’t have a good voice or any voice. But then there will be good moments.
I get a lot of fan mail addressed to Bilbo and sometimes Sir Bilbo – it’s hardly ever addressed to Ian Holm, in fact. My business manager drafts the replies, and then I pop in to the office and sign them, ‘Bilbo!’
I write slowly, and I write many, many drafts. I probably have to work as hard as anyone, and maybe harder, to finish a poem. I often write a poem over years, because it takes me a long time to figure out what to say and how best to say it.
I’m a great reviser. I do these reckless drafts just to get the lay of the land.
Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.
So much of writing is about what characters don’t say, and in the early drafts, sometimes things get overwritten.
It is simply not part of my culture to preserve notes. I have never heard of a writer preserving his early drafts.
I tend to write some, then outline some, then delete some, then go back and rewrite some. I love revising and hate first drafts. I have to wear bedroom slippers. My current favorites come from the Zetter Hotel in London. They have little tobacco pipes on the toes.